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Milan, Italy

The University of Milano-Bicocca is a university located in Milan, Italy.It was established in 1998. Wikipedia.

Cunha C.,University of Milan Bicocca
International journal of nanomedicine | Year: 2011

Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models of cell culture aim to fill the gap between the standard two-dimensional cell studies and the in vivo environment. Especially for neural tissue regeneration approaches where there is little regenerative capacity, these models are important for mimicking the extracellular matrix in providing support, allowing the natural flow of oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors, and possibly favoring neural cell regrowth. We have previously demonstrated that a new self-assembling nanostructured biomaterial, based on matrigel, was able to support adult neural stem cell (NSC) culture. In this study, we developed a new 3D cell culture system that takes advantage of the nano- and microfiber assembling process, under physiologic conditions, of these biomaterials. The assembled scaffold forms an intricate and biologically active matrix that displays specifically designed functional motifs: RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp), BMHP1 (bone marrow homing peptide 1), and BMHP2, for the culture of adult NSCs. These scaffolds were prepared at different concentrations, and microscopic examination of the cell-embedded scaffolds showed that NSCs are viable and they proliferate and differentiate within the nanostructured environment of the scaffold. Such a model has the potential to be tailored to develop ad hoc designed peptides for specific cell lines.

Pelagatti M.M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Statistical Software | Year: 2011

The use of state space models and their inference is illustrated using the package SsfPack for Ox. After a rather long introduction that explains the use of SsfPack and many of its functions, four case-studies illustrate the practical implementation of the software to real world problems through short sample programs. The rst case consists in the analysis of the well-known (at least to time series analysis experts) Nile data with a local level model. The other case-studies deal with ARIMA and RegARIMA models applied to the (also well-known) Airline time series, structural time series models applied to the Italian industrial production index and stochastic volatility models applied to the FTSE100 index. In all applications inference on the model (hyper-) parameters is carried out by maximum likelihood, but in one case (stochastic volatility) also an MCMC-based approach is illustrated. Cubic splines are covered in a very short example as well.

Grasso M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2010

This article develops a framework of procedural and distributive justice specifically tailored to the international-level funding of adaptation based on the assumptions that the ethical contents of such funding should consist of a fair process which involves all relevant parties, that adaptation funds should be raised according to the responsibility for climate impacts, and that the funds raised should be allocated by putting the most vulnerable first. In particular, after underlining the usefulness and possibilities of an ethical approach to climate adaptation finance, the article, in defining the framework of justice, first explores and justifies principles of procedural and distributive justice, and on their basis advances fairness and equity criteria that serve as benchmarks for assessing the ethical contents of international adaptation funding. Then, in order to test the robustness and investigative potential of the framework of justice developed, the article uses its fairness and equity criteria to evaluate the procedural and distributive justness of some climate adaptation finance architectures. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Romani L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Computer Aided Geometric Design | Year: 2010

We present a tension-controlled 2-point Hermite interpolatory subdivision scheme that is capable of reproducing circles starting from a sequence of sample points with any arbitrary spacing and appropriately chosen first and second derivatives. Whenever the tension parameter is set equal to 1, the limit curve coincides with the rational quintic Hermite interpolant to the given data and has guaranteed C2 continuity, while for other positive tension values, continuity of curvature is conjectured and empirically shown by a wide range of experiments. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Fiorino G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Information Sciences | Year: 2010

We present a procedure to decide prepositional Dummett logic. Such a procedure relies on a tableau calculus with a multiple premise rule and optimizations. The resulting implementation outperforms the state of the art graph-based procedure. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Calderone G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Calderone G.,National institute for astrophysics | Sbarrato T.,University of Insubria | Sbarrato T.,National institute for astrophysics | Ghisellini G.,National institute for astrophysics
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2012

We selected all radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the latest release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar catalogue, with redshift in the range 0.56-0.73. About 4000 (~80 per cent) of these have been detected in all four infrared bands of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This is the largest sample suitable to study the disc-torus connection. We find that the torus reprocesses on average ~1/3-1/2 of the accretion disc luminosity. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNP) offer several advantages for applications in biomedical and biotechnological research. In particular, MNP-based immobilization of enzymes allows high surface-to-volume ratio, good dispersibility, easy separation of enzymes from the reaction mixture, and reuse by applying an external magnetic field. In a biotechnological perspective, extremophilic enzymes hold great promise as they often can be used under non-conventional harsh conditions, which may result in substrate transformations that are not achievable with normal enzymes. This prompted us to investigate the effect of MNP bioconjugation on the catalytic properties of a thermostable carboxypeptidase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus (CPSso), which exhibits catalytic properties that are useful in synthetic processes. CPSso was immobilized onto silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles via NiNTA-His tag site-directed conjugation. Following the immobilization, CPSso acquired distinctly higher long-term stability at room temperature compared to the free native enzyme, which, in contrast, underwent extensive inactivation after 72 h incubation, thus suggesting a potential utilization of this enzyme under low energy consumption. Moreover, CPSso conjugation also resulted in a significantly higher stability in organic solvents at 40°C, which made it possible to synthesize N-blocked amino acids in remarkably higher yields compared to those of free enzyme. The nanobioconjugate of CPSso immobilized on silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles exhibited enhanced stability in aqueous media at room temperature as well as in different organic solvents. The improved stability in ethanol paves the way to possible applications of immobilized CPSso, in particular as a biocatalyst for the synthesis of N-blocked amino acids. Another potential application might be amino acid racemate resolution, a critical and expensive step in chemical synthesis.

Bordogna G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Pasi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Soft Computing | Year: 2010

In this paper, a flexible multi criteria information filtering model is presented. This model is flexible since it allows choosing several distinct criteria, such as content aboutness, coverage, novelty, trust, timeliness, and combining them by a soft aggregation to define a personalized filter. The personal filter is encoded into the user profile that also contains the representations of the user interests that can evolve over time. An implementation of the system applying a combination of the aboutness and coverage criteria has been evaluated and compared to other filtering systems, showing its superior effectiveness. Finally, the possible use of the other criterion is discussed. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

Bonizzoni P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Theoretical Computer Science | Year: 2010

A structural characterization of reflexive splicing languages has been recently given in [P. Bonizzoni, C. De Felice, R. Zizza, The structure of reflexive regular splicing languages via Schützenberger constants, Theoretical Computer Science 334 (2005) 71-98] and [P. Bonizzoni, G. Mauri, Regular splicing languages and subclasses, Theoretical Computer Science 340 (2005) 349-363] showing surprising connections between long standing notions in formal language theory, the syntactic monoid and Schützenberger constant and the splicing operation. In this paper, we provide a procedure to decide whether a regular language is a reflexive splicing language, based on the above-mentioned characterization that is given in terms of a finite set of constants for the language. The procedure relies on the notion of label-equivalence that induces a finite refinement of the syntactic monoid of a regular language L. A finite set of representatives for label-equivalent classes of constant words in L is defined and it is proved that such a finite set provides the splice sites of splicing rules generating language L. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Berruti G.,University of Milan | Ripolone M.,University of Milan | Ceriani M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2010

Ubiquitin-specific peptidase 8 (USP8) is a deubiquitinating enzyme that works as a regulator of endosomal sorting and vesicle morphology in cultured cells. Its function in vivo is, however, unknown as USP8 gene deletion leads to embryonic lethality. Previously, we have shown that USP8 is highly expressed in male germ cells. These cells develop a peculiar acidic vesicle that is indispensable for fertilization, the acrosome; USP8 might be involved in vivo in acrosomogenesis. The objective of this study was to test this hypothesis by determining if selective components of the early endosomal machinery interact functionally with USP8 during acrosomogenesis using protein-protein interaction assays and double/triple immunolabeling. Moreover, by exploiting the characteristic of USP8 that exhibits a microtubule interacting and trafficking/transport (MIT) domain, we verified whether USP8 effectively associates with spermatid microtubules by microtubule cosedimentation and binding assays. USP8 was able to interact with spermatid ESCRT-0 (endosomal-sorting complex required for transport-0) and microtubule structures; USP8/ESCRT-0-labeled vesicles, monitored by fluorescence microscopy, were found to contribute to acrosome formation while USP8 can directly link, via its MIT domain, the labeled vesicles/developing acrosome to microtubules, which could favor both acrosome assembly and shaping. VPS54, the vacuolar-sorting protein responsible for early endocytic retrograde transport, was here detected for the first time in male germ cells; VPS54 followed the intracellular route of USP8/ESCRT-0-labeled vesicles during acrosomogenesis. We concluded that in vivo USP8 has a role strongly associated with acrosome biogenesis and that the early endosome pathway is significantly involved in the process, which suggests that the acrosome could be a novel lysosome-related organelle. © 2010 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

Ciucci D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Dubois D.,University Paul Sabatier
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

This paper is a survey of the connections between three-valued logics and rough sets from the point of view of incomplete information management. Based on the fact that many three-valued logics can be put under a unique algebraic umbrella, we show how to translate three-valued conjunctions and implications into operations on ill-known sets such as rough sets. We then show that while such translations may provide mathematically elegant algebraic settings for rough sets, the interpretability of these connectives in terms of an original set approximated via an equivalence relation is very limited, thus casting doubts on the practical relevance of truth-functional logical renderings of rough sets. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Dennunzio A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Formenti E.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Weiss M.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
Theoretical Computer Science | Year: 2014

In this paper we study the dynamics of D-dimensional cellular automata (CA) by considering them as one-dimensional (1D) CA along some direction (slicing constructions). These constructions allow to give the D-dimensional version of important notions as 1D closing property and lift well-known one-dimensional results to the D-dimensional settings. Indeed, like in one-dimensional case, closing D-dimensional CA have jointly dense periodic orbits and biclosing D-dimensional CA are open. By the slicing constructions, we further prove that for the class of closing D-dimensional CA, surjectivity implies surjectivity on spatially periodic configurations (old standing open problem). We also deal with the decidability problem of the D-dimensional closing. By extending the Kari's construction from [31] based on tilings, we prove that the two-dimensional, and then D-dimensional, closing property is undecidable. In such a way, we add one further item to the class of dimension sensitive properties, i.e., properties that are decidable in dimension 1 and are undecidable in higher dimensions. It is well-known that there are not positively expansive CA in dimension 2 and higher. As a meaningful replacement, we introduce the notion of quasi-expansivity for D-dimensional CA which shares many global properties (in the D-dimensional settings) with the 1D positive expansivity. We also prove that for quasi-expansive D-dimensional CA the topological entropy (which is an uncomputable property for general CA) has infinite value. In a similar way as quasi-expansivity, the notions of quasi-sensitivity and quasi-almost equicontinuity are introduced and studied. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Ingrassia S.,University of Catania | Minotti S.C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Punzo A.,University of Catania
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2014

A novel family of twelve mixture models with random covariates, nested in the linear t cluster-weighted model (CWM), is introduced for model-based clustering. The linear t CWM was recently presented as a robust alternative to the better known linear Gaussian CWM. The proposed family of models provides a unified framework that also includes the linear Gaussian CWM as a special case. Maximum likelihood parameter estimation is carried out within the EM framework, and both the BIC and the ICL are used for model selection. A simple and effective hierarchical-random initialization is also proposed for the EM algorithm. The novel model-based clustering technique is illustrated in some applications to real data. Finally, a simulation study for evaluating the performance of the BIC and the ICL is presented. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Turati C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Di Giorgio E.,University of Padua | Bardi L.,University of Padua | Simion F.,University of Padua
Child Development | Year: 2010

Holistic face processing was investigated in newborns, 3-month-old infants, and adults through a modified version of the composite face paradigm and the recording of eye movements. After familiarization to the top portion of a face, participants (N = 70) were shown 2 aligned or misaligned faces, 1 of which comprised the familiar top part. In the aligned condition, no visual preference was found at any group age. In the misaligned condition, 3-month-olds preferred the face stimulus with the familiar top part, adults preferred the face stimulus with the novel one, and newborns did not manifest any visual preference. Results revealed that both infants' and adults' eye movements may be affected by holistic face information and demonstrated holistic face processing in 3-month-olds. © 2010 The Authors. Child Development © 2010 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Sesana A.,Max Planck Institute for Physics | Barausse E.,CNRS Paris Institute of Astrophysics | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Dotti M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Rossi E.M.,Leiden University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

We present the results of a semianalytical model that evolves the masses and spins of massive black holes together with the properties of their host galaxies across the cosmic history. As a consistency check, our model broadly reproduces a number of observations, e.g., the cosmic star formation history; the black hole mass, luminosity, and galaxy mass functions at low redshift; the black hole-bulge mass relation; and the morphological distribution at low redshift. For the first time in a semianalytical investigation, we relax the simplifying assumptions of perfect coherency or perfect isotropy of the gas fueling the black holes. The dynamics of gas is instead linked to the morphological properties of the host galaxies, resulting in different spin distributions for black holes hosted in different galaxy types. We compare our results with the observed sample of spin measurements obtained through broad Kα iron line fitting. The observational data disfavor both accretion along a fixed direction and isotropic fueling. Conversely, when the properties of the accretion flow are anchored to the kinematics of the host galaxy, we obtain a good match between theoretical expectations and observations. A mixture of coherent accretion and phases of activity in which the gas dynamics is similar to that of the stars in bulges (i.e., with a significant velocity dispersion superimposed to a net rotation) best describes the data, adding further evidence in support of the coevolution of massive black holes and their hosts. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Cangiani A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Natalini R.,CNR Institute for applied mathematics Mauro Picone
Journal of Theoretical Biology | Year: 2010

We consider models of Ran-driven nuclear transport of molecules such as proteins in living cells. The mathematical model presented is the first to take into account for the active transport of molecules along the cytoplasmic microtubules. All parameters entering the models are thoroughly discussed. The model is tested by numerical simulations based on discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods. The numerical experiments are compared to the behavior observed experimentally. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Cruz I.F.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Stroe C.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Palmonari M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings - International Conference on Data Engineering | Year: 2012

When compared to a gold standard, the set of mappings that are generated by an automatic ontology matching process is neither complete nor are the individual mappings always correct. However, given the explosion in the number, size, and complexity of available ontologies, domain experts no longer have the capability to create ontology mappings without considerable effort. We present a solution to this problem that consists of making the ontology matching process interactive so as to incorporate user feedback in the loop. Our approach clusters mappings to identify where user feedback will be most beneficial in reducing the number of user interactions and system iterations. This feedback process has been implemented in the Agreement Maker system and is supported by visual analytic techniques that help users to better understand the matching process. Experimental results using the OAEI benchmarks show the effectiveness of our approach. We will demonstrate how users can interact with the ontology matching process through the Agreement Maker user interface to match real-world ontologies. © 2012 IEEE.

Belgiorno F.,University of Milan | Cacciatori S.L.,University of Insubria | Ortenzi G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sala V.G.,University of Insubria | Faccio D.,University of Insubria
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We analyze in detail photon production induced by a superluminal refractive-index perturbation in realistic experimental operating conditions. The interaction between the refractive-index perturbation and the quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field leads to the production of photon pairs. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Bonetti D.,University of Milan Bicocca
PLoS genetics | Year: 2010

Eukaryotic cells distinguish their chromosome ends from accidental DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by packaging them into protective structures called telomeres that prevent DNA repair/recombination activities. Here we investigate the role of key telomeric proteins in protecting budding yeast telomeres from degradation. We show that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae shelterin-like proteins Rif1, Rif2, and Rap1 inhibit nucleolytic processing at both de novo and native telomeres during G1 and G2 cell cycle phases, with Rif2 and Rap1 showing the strongest effects. Also Yku prevents telomere resection in G1, independently of its role in non-homologous end joining. Yku and the shelterin-like proteins have additive effects in inhibiting DNA degradation at G1 de novo telomeres, where Yku plays the major role in preventing initiation, whereas Rif1, Rif2, and Rap1 act primarily by limiting extensive resection. In fact, exonucleolytic degradation of a de novo telomere is more efficient in yku70Delta than in rif2Delta G1 cells, but generation of ssDNA in Yku-lacking cells is limited to DNA regions close to the telomere tip. This limited processing is due to the inhibitory action of Rap1, Rif1, and Rif2, as their inactivation allows extensive telomere resection not only in wild-type but also in yku70Delta G1 cells. Finally, Rap1 and Rif2 prevent telomere degradation by inhibiting MRX access to telomeres, which are also protected from the Exo1 nuclease by Yku. Thus, chromosome end degradation is controlled by telomeric proteins that specifically inhibit the action of different nucleases.

Saliu F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Degano I.,University of Pisa | Colombini M.P.,CNR Institute for the Conservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2014

A method based on the use of a Poroshell 120 EC-C18 column (3.0. mm. ×. 50. mm, 2.7. μm) with a high resolution electrospray ionization-quadrupole-time of flight (ESI-Q-ToF) tandem mass spectrometer as detection system was optimized for the identification of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in complex archaeological residues.The best performances in chromatographic separation and Q-ToF detection sensitivity were reached by using a mixture of iPrOH/MeOH at a 0.6. mL/min flow rate. Triolein (OOO) was eluted in 12.30. min and the chromatographic resolution against tripalmitin (PPP) was 1.4. Very good limits of detection and quantification limits were also achieved (LOD. <. 0.03. μg/g LOQ. <. 0.10. μg/g).These achievements were compared with the results provided by traditional particle columns and with the results reported in the recent literature regarding TAGs analysis in archaeological residues. Thanks to the unprecedented chromatographic separation and detection sensitivity attained, it was possible for the first time to perform TAGs researches in archaeological residues and reference materials with a dataset containing more than 500 molecular formula. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Cabitza F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Behaviour and Information Technology | Year: 2015

The paper reports on the design and development of QUESt, a platform that is aimed at enabling lay users to deploy web-based multi-page dynamic questionnaires. The platform requires little effort and no programming skills, as it uses a simple configuration file that can be expressed in an almost unstructured and text-based manner. We have validated the approach and platform in the healthcare domain, where the questionnaires were intended to solicit and collect both structured and unstructured feedback from large communities of practitioners in response to the sharing and dissemination of relevant case studies; more specifically in this paper we use a qualitative research approach, encompassing evaluation questionnaires and a particular kind of focus group, and the incremental prototype-based development that led to the current release of QUESt. The paper also reports on the experimentation of the platform in a real context, involving almost 100 orthopaedics, including the post-use evaluation of the participants. In light of this evaluation, we discuss the specific requirements of openness and flexibility that end-users ask for in order to be autonomous in developing their own tools for knowledge-sharing; in particular, we discuss the role of lightweight tools, like QUESt to support the dissemination and discussion of clinical case reports. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Datteri E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Science and Engineering Ethics | Year: 2013

This article addresses prospective and retrospective responsibility issues connected with medical robotics. It will be suggested that extant conceptual and legal frameworks are sufficient to address and properly settle most retrospective responsibility problems arising in connection with injuries caused by robot behaviours (which will be exemplified here by reference to harms occurred in surgical interventions supported by the Da Vinci robot, reported in the scientific literature and in the press). In addition, it will be pointed out that many prospective responsibility issues connected with medical robotics are nothing but well-known robotics engineering problems in disguise, which are routinely addressed by roboticists as part of their research and development activities: for this reason they do not raise particularly novel ethical issues. In contrast with this, it will be pointed out that novel and challenging prospective responsibility issues may emerge in connection with harmful events caused by normal robot behaviours. This point will be illustrated here in connection with the rehabilitation robot Lokomat. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Gambacorti Passerini C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2014

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive lymphomas respond to chemotherapy, but relapses, which bear a poor prognosis, occur. Crizotinib inhibits ALK in vitro and in vivo and was administered as monotherapy to 11 ALK+ lymphoma patients who were resistant/refractory to cytotoxic therapy. The overall response rate was 10 of 11 (90.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 58.7% to 99.8%). Disease status at the latest follow-up is as follows: four patients are in complete response (CR) (months >21, >30, >35, >40) under continuous crizotinib administration; 4 patients had progression of disease (months 1, 2, 2, 2); 1 patient obtained CR on crizotinib, received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, and is in CR; 2 patients (treated before and/or after allogeneic bone marrow transplant) obtained and are still in CR but they have stopped crizotinib. Overall and progression-free survival rates at 2 years are 72.7% (95% CI = 39.1% to 94.0%) and 63.7% (95% CI = 30.8% to 89.1%), respectively. ALK mutations conferring resistance to crizotinib in vitro could be identified in relapsed patients. Crizotinib exerted a potent antitumor activity with durable responses in advanced, heavily pretreated ALK+ lymphoma patients, with a benign safety profile.

Crepaldi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rastle K.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Coltheart M.,Macquarie University | Nickels L.,Macquarie University
Journal of Memory and Language | Year: 2010

Recent masked priming experiments have brought to light a morphological level of analysis that is exclusively based on the orthographic appearance of words, so that it breaks down corner into corn- and -er, as well as dealer into deal- and -er (. Rastle, Davis, & New, 2004). Being insensitive to semantic factors, this morpho-orthographic segmentation process cannot capture the morphological relationship between irregularly inflected words and their base forms (e.g., fell-fall, bought-buy); hence, the prediction follows that these words should not facilitate each other in masked priming experiments. However, the first experiment described in the present work demonstrates that fell does facilitate fall more than orthographically matched (e.g., fill) and unrelated control words (e.g., hope). Experiments 2 and 3 also show that this effect cannot be explained through orthographic sub-regularities that characterize many irregular inflections, as no priming arose when unrelated words showing the same orthographic patterns were tested (e.g., tell-tall vs. toll-tall). These results highlight the existence of a second higher-level source of masked morphological priming; we propose that this second source of priming is located at the lemma level, where inflected words (but not derived words) share their representation irrespective of orthographic regularity. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Gallace A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Spence C.,University of Oxford
Psyche | Year: 2010

This review addresses the role of early sensory areas in the awareness of tactile information in humans. The results of recent studies dealing with this important topic are critically discussed: In particular, we report on evidence from neuropsychology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, and behavioral experiments that have highlighted the crucial role played by the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) in mediating our awareness of tactile information. Phenomena, such as tactile hallucinations, tactile illusions, the perception of supernumerary limbs, and synaesthesia are also discussed. The research reviewed here clearly shows that the activation of SI is necessary, but not sufficient, for the awareness of touch. On the basis of the evidence outlined here, we propose a neurocognitive model that provides a conceptual framework in which to interpret the results of the literature regarding tactile consciousness.

Aliberti S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giuliani F.,University of Milan | Ramirez J.,University of Louisville | Blasi F.,University of Milan
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Purpose of review The appropriate duration of antimicrobial treatment in patients with pneumonia remains a matter of controversy. The purpose of this article is to review different approaches that have been used to determine the duration of antimicrobial therapy mainly driven either by the antibiotic chosen, isolated pathogen, host characteristics, or severity of the disease. Recent findings When considered individually, every approach has strengths and weaknesses. Targeting the duration of antibiotic therapy based on a single biomarker, such as procalcitonin, is a promising approach that showed a reduction in antibiotic exposure in different settings, diseases, and study populations. Furthermore, an individualized approach according to time to reach clinical stability takes into account all the previous cited factors and may be another feasible and effective strategy to determine the most appropriate duration of the antibiotic therapy in patients with pneumonia. Summary A shorter duration of antibiotic course based on response to treatment may be favorable in patients with pneumonia due to a potential reduction of adverse events and antibiotic resistance, the opportunity to enhance patients' compliance and to decrease healthcare costs. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thermal matching of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) to their heat sinks is well known to be a critical issue in the development of efficient harvesters. It is slightly less obvious that the development of suitable novel materials would possibly take advantage of their contextualization to prospective scenarios of deployment. In this communication a novel unified analysis of the heat equation is proposed. The thermal system was embedded into a thermostat while the heat source was taken as a part of the system itself, also explicitly accounting for the heat dissipation. A continual transition of thermal matching conditions from those predicted under Dirichlet boundary conditions (BCs) to those obtained under Neumann BCs was found, depending on the strength of the heat source and on the thermal resistances of the circuit branches. In all cases it was found that, independently of the thermal or thermoelectric circuit geometry, no single material may provide optimal TEG power density for any heat source strength and branch resistance. © 2015 The Authors.

Aliberti S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Blasi F.,University of Milan
Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2012

Once antibiotics have been started in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the evaluation of clinical outcomes represents one of the essential steps in patient care. Among CAP patients who improve, recognition of clinical stability should be based on both subjective and objective parameters that are locally available in the everyday clinical practice. Different steps in the management of the pneumonia depend on this early outcome, including the switch from intravenous to oral antibiotics, patients' discharge from the hospital, and outcomes after hospitalization. When deterioration occurs in CAP patients, a "treatment failureo" or a "clinical failureo" should be identified. It is crucial to understand the etiology of failure so as to develop different measures at both international and local levels to prevent adverse outcomes. Finally, several efforts should be made to define incidence, timing, and risk factors for nonresolving pneumonia that, to date, remains one of the most indeterminate clinical outcomes in patients with CAP. Copyright © 2012 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Ferri E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements | Year: 2011

Neutrino oscillation experiments have shown that neutrino are massive particles, but they are not able to determine the absolute neutrino mass scale. The experiments dedicated to effective electron-neutrino mass determination are the ones based on kinematic analyses of electrons emitted in single β-decay as 3H and 187Re. Nowadays the electrostatic spectrometers and microcalorimeters, two complementary techniques, are the most sensitive detection principles. Two experiments, KATRIN and MARE, are currently being prepared to explore neutrino masses down to 0.2 eV. The KATRIN experiment, which combines an ultra-luminous windowless gaseous tritium source with a high resolution electrostatic spectrometer, will provide high precision in β-studies never achieved before. The MARE project aims at the direct and calorimetric measurement of the electron neutrino mass with sub-eV sensitivity. Although the baseline of the MARE project consists in a large array of rhenium based thermal detectors, a different option for the isotope is also being considered. This contribution gives an outlook for both experiments. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Reina L.,Florida State University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We present an implementation of the next-to-leading order hadronic production of a W± boson in association with a pair of massive bottom quarks in the framework of POWHEG, a method to consistently interface NLO QCD calculations with shower Monte Carlo generators. The process has been implemented using the POWHEG BOX, an automated computer code that systematically applies the POWHEG method to NLO QCD calculations. Spin correlations in the decay of the W± boson into leptons have been taken into account using standard approximated techniques. We present phenomenological results for Wbb̄ → lνbb̄ production, at both the Tevatron and the LHC, obtained by showering the POWHEG results with PYTHIA and HERWIG, and we discuss the outputs of the two different shower Monte Carlo programs. © 2011 SISSA.

Matteuzzi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2011

I will review in this talk some examples of RICH detectors operating or being about to, from the point of view of the parameters which determine the Cherenkov angle resolution. The RICH technique is extremely powerful and widely used nowadays in experiments which have to perform particle identification. Depending on the technologies chosen for the detector design, the design resolution can be achieved if important efforts are made, keeping under control the stability of the different components contributing to the Cherenkov angle resolution. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Maiano C.G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements | Year: 2011

The final status of the single module configuration for CUORE experiment will be illustrated. CUORE is a tightly packed array of 988 TeO2 bolometers and represents one of the best approaches to search for neutrinoless double beta decay (ββ0ν). TeO2 crystals production is now well established and specific attention was dedicated to test the complete infrastructures. During the last months, dedicated measurements, referred as CCVR (Chinese Crystal Validation Run), were done at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS). Results obtained in CCVR runs will be presented considering the detector performances achieved and the characteristics that can be attributed to all the final detectors parts. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Sciunnach D.,Regione Lombardia | Garzanti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2012

This article reconstructs the evolution of the passive northern margin of peninsular India facing the Neotethys, from the earliest rifting stages in the Carboniferous to final collision with the active southern margin of Asia in the Early Eocene. Classical techniques of basin analysis were applied to an extensive and coherent stratigraphic data base. Facies analysis, biostratigraphic dating, and palaeoenvironmental interpretation of an over 10. km-thick sedimentary succession from eight main composite sections allowed us to draw accurate sedimentation and backstripped subsidence curves, and to place quantitative constraints on the palaeotectonic scenario inferred from the sedimentary record. In each of the investigated composite sections, three major stratigraphic gaps are consistently recognised in the rift sequence: the "rift unconformity" (Mississippian), the "Carboniferous/Permian hiatus" (largely Kasimovian to Asselian), and the "break-up unconformity" (mid-Sakmarian). Two or even all three gaps may merge into a single hiatus, spanning up to 70. Ma overall. Gaps are associated with rift-shoulder uplift, which after calculation of backstripped subsidence sums up to 600. m at least in three of the investigated sections. Thermal subsidence and low sedimentation rates are documented by the mid-Permian to Middle Triassic drift sequence, deposited while the Neotethys was expanding between northern Gondwana and the detached Peri-Gondwanan blocks. A marked increase in accumulation rates is recorded in the Carnian-Norian, but calculations of uniform lithospheric stretching suggest that extension was minor and associated with tectonic processes affecting distant parts of Gondwana. The Tethys Himalayan margin was uplifted around the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, at the onset of a major volcanic episode. Finally, uplift exceeding in magnitude all previous events is documented by the uppermost units of the stratigraphic column, deposited during the earliest stages of collision between India and Asia in the latest Paleocene to Early Eocene. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Di Valentin C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Costa D.,Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Paris
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

We report on a DFT study of the adsorption of n-butylphosphonic acid [CH 3(CH 2) 3PO(OH) 2] on the anatase (101) TiO 2 model surface. The pure GGA (PBE and rPBE) approach is compared to a hybrid functional (B3LYP). Dispersion forces are taken into account in the Grimme framework correcting both energies and gradients. The surface coverage is varied from 0.25 ML (one phosphonic unit every four surface Ti 5c) to 1 ML (one phosphonic unit/Ti 5c). The overall picture resulting from these three approaches is qualitatively the same, although quantitative details are different. At low coverage, the alkylphosphonic acid adsorbs in a monodissociated bidentate mode, forming two P=O-Ti 5c bonds with one additional OH-O s bond, where Ti 5c and O s refer to surface titanium and oxygen atoms. At full coverage, the molecules adsorb in a monodentate mode and reorient in order to minimize lateral repulsion and maximize H-bonds. The contribution of dispersion forces to the adsorption energy increases with the coverage. The 0.75 and 1 ML coverages, which are the most favored, correspond nicely to the reported experimental coverages. The results suggest that for entropic reasons the surface could be rather disordered, with coexisting domains of different coverages 0.75 and 1 ML. No additional states in the band gap of the semiconductors are formed for this hybrid organic-inorganic system. The workfunction decreases by 0.7 eV when a full self-assembled monolayer is supported on the surface. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Pacchioni G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2012

The last decade has seen spectacular progress in the design, preparation, and characterization down to the atomic scale of oxide ultrathin films of few nanometers thickness grown on a different material. This has paved the way towards several sophisticated applications in advanced technologies. By playing around with the low-dimensionality of the oxide layer, which sometimes leads to truly two-dimensional systems, one can exploit new properties and functionalities that are not present in the corresponding bulk materials or thick films. In this review we provide some clues about the most recent advances in the design of these systems based on modern electronic structure theory and on their preparation and characterization with specifically developed growth techniques and analytical methods. We show how two-dimensional oxides can be used in mature technologies by providing added value to existing materials, or in new technologies based on completely new paradigms. The fields in which two-dimensional oxides are used are classified based on the properties that are exploited, chemical or physical. With respect to chemical properties we discuss use of oxide ultrathin films in catalysis, solid oxide fuel cells, gas sensors, corrosion protection, and biocompatible materials; regarding the physical properties we discuss metal-oxide field effect transistors and memristors, spintronic devices, ferroelectrics and thermoelectrics, and solar energy materials. Oxide ultrathin films: Currently, it is possible to prepare oxide films with a thickness of a few nanometers. By playing around with the low-dimensionality of the oxide layer (see figure), one can exploit new properties and functionalities that are not present in the corresponding bulk materials. The applications range from catalysis, fuel cells, gas sensors, corrosion protection, and biocompatible materials to microelectronic and spintronic devices, ferroelectrics, thermoelectrics, and solar energy materials. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores | Ulrich W.,Nicolaus Copernicus University
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2012

Many studies have found that species richness in the Western Palaearctic follows a latitudinal trend, yet the importance of geographical and ecological factors in shaping species ranges remains obscure. In this article, we present geographical patterns of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae), a species-rich group of arthropods. We relate the spatial distributions of species, instead of simply species richness, to spatial and climatic gradients, and test the effects of area (by species-area relationships), latitude (by various climatic gradients) and environmental diversity (by elevation) using simultaneous autoregressive models to identify major correlates of species richness. We then use nestedness and co-occurrence analyses to identify glacial refugial centres and postglacial dispersal trajectories responsible for current species ranges. Our results indicate the presence of two refugial centres (in the Iberian and Balkan peninsulas) that appear to have been particularly important in shaping extant tenebrionid ranges. Northern countries were selectively colonized by more tolerant and, possibly, more mobile species, which survived in southern refugia during the Pleistocene glacial maxima, whereas the low dispersal capabilities of many species that evolved in these southern isolated areas prevented their spread northwards. High levels of endemism recorded in Spain and Sardinia suggest that the faunas of these regions originated during the Tertiary period and have remained substantially isolated. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.

Villa I.M.,University of Bern | Villa I.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hanchar J.M.,Memorial University of Newfoundland
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta | Year: 2013

The significance of the multi-isotopic record preserved in K-feldspars is assessed on samples from the Aar metagranite, Central Alps, Switzerland having very tight independent geological constraints. Stepwise leaching reveals that two diachronically grown K-feldspar generations coexist: Kfs-1 (≥35Ma old, Ca-poor, Rb-Cl-rich, with low 87Sr/86Sr and high 206Pb/204Pb) and Kfs-2 (≤10Ma old, antithetic isotopic signatures deriving from external fluids). Microtextures imaged by cathodoluminescence, backscattered electrons, and electron probe microanalysis are patchy and chemically heterogeneous, with pronounced enrichments in Ba in the retrogressed regions. This confirms the simultaneous presence of fluid-dominated retrogression and recrystallization and isotopic inheritance. The staircase-shaped 40Ar/39Ar age spectrum correlates with the Ca/K and Cl/K signatures. This reflects a mixture of heterochemical K-feldspar generations, and not an intracrystalline Ar gradient caused by diffusion. The shape of the age spectrum and the in vacuo release kinetics proceed from entirely different physical and geological phenomena.What K-feldspars can be effectively used for is to constrain the timing of the fluids that interacted with them by multi-isotopic analyses, rather than to model a " cooling history" from 39Ar release alone. The identification of multiple mineral generations by imaging combined with multi-isotopic analysis enables the accurate dating of the events of a multistage evolution after the initial crystallization of the rock in which the minerals occur. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Nacinovich R.,University of Milan Bicocca
Child psychiatry and human development | Year: 2012

The epidemiology of anxiety traits was examined in a large sample of Italian preadolescent children, and 3,479 Italian nine-year-old subjects were enrolled. Anxious traits were observed in 10.5% of children. No significant gender differences were found, but children of separated couples presented a relative risk for anxious traits that was 50% higher, than children of cohabiting or married parents. Moreover, large families (more than 4 members) with a stay-at-home mother were also associated with anxiety in the offspring. Currently, this is the first study carried out in a large sample of preadolescent children, all of the same age.

Lorenzi R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Lorenzi R.,University of Southampton | Jung Y.,University of Southampton | Brambilla G.,University of Southampton
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2011

We fabricated and tested an evanescent-wave absorption sensor consisting of an optical microfiber coil resonator embedded in fluidic channel walls. Low concentrations of flowing analyte show optical losses in agreement with a modified Beer-Lambert law. Higher concentration causes a limit value of the measured optical losses arising from adsorption mechanisms. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Meggendorfer M.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Bacher U.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Alpermann T.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | Haferlach C.,MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2013

Chronic myeloid malignancies are categorized to the three main categories myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) and MDS/MPN overlap. So far, no specific genetic alteration profiles have been identified in the MDS/MPN overlap category. Recent studies identified mutations in SET-binding protein 1 (SETBP1) as novel marker in myeloid malignancies, especially in atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) and related diseases. We analyzed SETBP1 in 1 130 patients with MPN and MDS/MPN overlap and found mutation frequencies of 3.8% and 9.4%, respectively. In particular, there was a high frequency of SETBP1 mutation in aCML (19/60; 31.7%) and MDS/MPN unclassifiable (MDS/MPN, U; 20/240; 9.3%). SETBP1 mutated (SETBP1mut) patients showed significantly higher white blood cell counts and lower platelet counts and hemoglobin levels than SETBP1 wild-type patients. Cytomorphologic evaluation revealed a more dysplastic phenotype in SETBP1mut cases as compared with wild-type cases. We confirm a significant association of SETBP1mut with -7 and isochromosome i(17)(q10). Moreover, SETBP1mut were strongly associated with ASXL1 and CBL mutations (P<0.001 for both) and were mutually exclusive of JAK2 and TET2 mutations. In conclusion, SETBP1mut add an important new diagnostic marker for MDS/MPN and in particular for aCML. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Crosta G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

The "enhanced spectrum" of an image g[.] is a function h[.] of wave-number u obtained by a sequence of operations on the power spectral density of g[.]. The main properties and the available theorems on the correspondence between spectrum enhancement and spatial differentiation, of either integer or fractional order, are stated. In order to apply the enhanced spectrum to image classification, one has to go, by interpolation, from h[.] to a polynomial q[.]. The graph of q[.] provides the set of morphological descriptors of the original image, suitable for submission to a multivariate statistical classifier. Since q[.] depends on an n-tuple, ψ, of parameters which control image pre-processing, spectrum enhancement and interpolation, then one can train the classifier by tuning ψ. In fact, classifier training is more articulated and relies on a "design", whereby different training sets are processed. The best performing n-tuple, ψ*, is selected by maximizing a "design-wide" figure of merit. Next one can apply the trained classifier to recognize new images. A recent application to materials science is summarized. © 2009 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.

Cavaletti G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Jakubowiak A.J.,University of Michigan
Leukemia and Lymphoma | Year: 2010

Treatment-emergent peripheral neuropathy (PN) is an important dose-limiting toxicity during treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Bortezomib-induced PN (BIPN) occurred in 3744 of clinical trial patients with MM, with the cumulative treatment dose as its single most significant predictor. This review discusses the clinical profile of BIPN in the treatment of MM and guidelines for its management. Lower rates of BIPN observed during treatment of solid tumors compared with rates of hematologic cancers are also discussed. Several areas of research are reviewed that may improve the management of BIPN, including co-therapies with the novel heat shock protein inhibitor tanespimycin, which appears to reduce the incidence of BIPN, and recent studies with second-generation proteasome inhibitors such as carfilzomib and NPI-0052. Adherence to the National Cancer Institute dose-modification algorithm is the most effective method for mitigating BIPN. Reversal of BIPN after treatment cessation occurs in most cases, but recovery in some patients takes as long as 1.7 years, and some individuals fail to return to baseline neurologic function. BIPN can cause a significant reduction in quality of life, primarily due to severe treatment-emergent pain. Ongoing research may provide additional information about the mechanism of BIPN and strategies to reduce PN. © 2010 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Tibaldi A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research | Year: 2015

Magma is transported and stored in the crust mostly through networks of planar structures (intrusive sheets), ranging from vertical dykes to inclined sheets and horizontal sills, and magma chambers, which make up the plumbing system of volcanoes. This study presents an overview of plumbing systems imaged at different depths and geodynamic settings, in order to contribute to assessing the factors that control their geometry. Data were derived from personal field surveys and through the analysis of publications; observations include local lithology and tectonics of the host rock with special reference to local fault kinematics and related stress tensor, regional tectonics (general kinematics and far-field stress tensors), geology and shape of the volcano, topographic settings, and structural and petrochemical characteristics of the plumbing system. Information from active volcanoes and eroded extinct volcanoes is discussed; the shallow plumbing system of active volcanoes has been reconstructed by combining available geophysical data with field information derived from outcropping sheets, morphometric analyses of pyroclastic cones, and the orientation and location of eruptive fissures. The study of eroded volcanoes enabled to assess the plumbing system geometry at deeper levels in the core of the edifice or underneath the volcano-substratum interface. Key sites are presented in extensional, transcurrent and contractional tectonic settings from North and South-America, Iceland, the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea and Africa. The types of sheet arrangements illustrated include swarms of parallel dykes, diverging rift patterns, centrally-inclined sheets, ring and radial dykes, circum-lateral collapse sheets, sills, and mixed members. This review shows that intrusive sheet emplacement at a volcano depends upon the combination of several local and regional factors, some of which are difficult to be constrained. While much progress has been made, it is still very challenging to forecast the likely paths and geometry of sheet propagation and emplacement during volcanic unrest events. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Integrated Blood Pressure Control | Year: 2016

Obesity-related hypertension represents a condition frequently observed in current clinical practice characterized by a complex pathophysiological background and a very high cardiovascular risk profile, particularly in severely obese individuals. This explains, on the one hand, the difficulty in reducing elevated blood pressure values in this pathological state and, on the other, the need to achieve this goal in a relatively short-time period to prevent the occurrence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events. Both nonpharmacological and pharmacological measures are available in the therapeutic approach for this condition. Among the pharmacological interventions, a combination of two antihypertensive drugs represents the most common recommended strategy aimed at achieving blood pressure control. This paper, after briefly examining the main pathophysiological features of obesity-related hypertension, will review the importance in the treatment of this condition of the drug combination based on a calcium channel blocker and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, with specific focus on lercanidipine/enalapril. Following an analysis of the main pharmacological properties of the combination, the results of the studies based on this pharmacological approach in obesity-related hypertension will be critically discussed. The efficacy, safety, and tolerability profile of the lercanidine/enalapril drug combination as well as its potential limitations will also be examined. © 2016 Grassi.

Frezzotti M.L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ferrando S.,University of Turin
American Mineralogist | Year: 2015

This review combines fluid inclusion data from (HP-)UHP rocks with experimental research and thermodynamic models to investigate the chemical and physical properties of fluids released during deep subduction, their solvent and element transport capacity, and the subsequent implications for the element recycling in the mantle wedge. An impressive number of fluid inclusion studies indicate three main populations of fluid inclusions in HP and UHP metamorphic rocks: (1) aqueous and/or non-polar gaseous fluid inclusions (FI); (2) multiphase solid inclusions (MSI); and (3) melt inclusions (MI). Chemical data from preserved fluid inclusions in rocks match with and implement "model" fluids by experiments and thermodynamics, revealing a continuity behind the extreme variations of physico-chemical properties of subduction-zone fluids. From fore-Arc to sub-Arc depths, fluids released by progressive devolatilization reactions from slab lithologies change from relatively diluted chloridebearing aqueous solutions (±N2), mainly influenced by halide ligands, to (alkali) aluminosilicate-rich aqueous fluids, in which polymerization probably governs the solubility and transport of major (e.g., Si and Al) and trace elements (including C). Fluid inclusion studies point to a reconsideration of the petrological models explaining deep volatile liberation, and their flux into the mantle wedge. © 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston 2015.

Richiardi L.,University of Turin | Bellocco R.,Karolinska Institutet | Bellocco R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zugna D.,University of Turin
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

In epidemiological studies it is often necessary to disentangle the pathways that link an exposure to an outcome. Typically the aim is to identify the total effect of the exposure on the outcome, the effect of the exposure that acts through a given set of mediators of interest (indirect effect) and the effect of the exposure unexplained by those same mediators (direct effect). The traditional approach to mediation analysis is based on adjusting for the mediator in standard regression models to estimate the direct effect. However, several methodological papers have shown that under a number of circumstances this traditional approach may produce flawed conclusions. Through a better understanding of the causal structure of the variables involved in the analysis, with a formal definition of direct and indirect effects in a counterfactual framework, alternative analytical methods have been introduced to improve the validity and interpretation of mediation analysis. In this paper, we review and discuss the impact of the three main sources of potential bias in the traditional approach to mediation analyses: (i) mediator-outcome confounding;(ii) exposure-mediator interaction and (iii) mediator-outcome confounding affected by the exposure. We provide examples and discuss the impact these sources have in terms of bias. © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.

Goffredo P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Roman S.A.,Yale University | Sosa J.A.,Yale University
Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Hurthle cell carcinoma (HCC) is an uncommon and more aggressive thyroid cancer. To date, there is a paucity of data at a population level. In this study, demographic, clinical, and pathologic characteristics of HCC were investigated and compared with other types of differentiated thyroid cancers (ODTCs). The authors also evaluated disease-specific survival and compliance with American Thyroid Association (ATA) management guidelines from 2009. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database from 1988 to 2009 was used to obtain data on patients with thyroid cancer. Data analyses were performed using chi-square tests, analysis of variance, Kaplan-Meier analysis, binary logistic regression, and Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: In total, 3311 patients with HCC and 59,585 patients with ODTC were identified. Compared with ODTC, HCC was more common among men (31.1% vs 23.0% for ODTC; P <.001) and among older patients (mean age, 57.6 years vs 48.9 years for ODTC; P <.001). Patients with HCC presented with higher SEER disease stage (P <.001), and their tumors were larger (36.1 mm vs 20.2 mm for ODTC; P <.001). Fewer patients underwent total thyroidectomy (P =.028). Both overall and disease-specific survival were lower for patients with HCC (P <.001), and neither improved over the last 2 decades (P =.689). After adjustment, age ≥45 years, not undergoing surgery, and metastatic disease were strongly associated with a worse prognosis (hazard ratio >3.0). Compliance with recommended surgical treatment according to ATA guidelines was lower among patients with HCC aged ≥65 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.43; P =.002) and among unmarried patients (OR, 1.29; P =.004). Predictors of noncompliance with ATA guidelines for treatment with radioactive implants or radioisotopes were age ≥65 years (OR, 1.31; P =.017), diagnosis between 1988 and 1997, no surgery, and partial thyroidectomy (OR, 1.81, 19.48, and 4.02, respectively; P <.001). Conclusions: HCC has more aggressive behavior and compromised survival compared with ODTC. The current results indicated that it may be important to consider a different staging system or separate practice guidelines. Cancer 2013. © 2012 American Cancer Society.

Martinelli P.,Laboratory of Genetic and Molecular Pathology | Rugarli E.I.,Laboratory of Genetic and Molecular Pathology | Rugarli E.I.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2010

Fine tuning of integrated mitochondrial functions is essential in neurons and rationalizes why mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important pathogenic role in neurodegeneration. Mitochondria can contribute to neuronal cell death and axonal dysfunction through a plethora of mechanisms, including low ATP levels, increased reactive oxygen species, defective calcium regulation, and impairment of dynamics and transport. Recently, mitochondrial proteases in the inner mitochondrial membrane have emerged as culprits in several human neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial proteases degrade misfolded and non-assembled polypeptides, thus performing quality control surveillance in the organelle. Moreover, they regulate the activity of specific substrates by mediating essential processing steps. Mitochondrial proteases may be directly involved in neurodegenerative diseases, as recently shown for the m-AAA protease, or may regulate crucial mitochondrial molecules, such as OPA1, which in turn is implicated in human disease. The mitochondrial proteases HTRA2 and PARL increase the susceptibility of neurons to apoptotic cell death. Here we review our current knowledge on how disturbances of the mitochondrial proteolytic system affect neuronal maintenance and axonal function. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Zaza A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology | Year: 2010

Although the action potential (AP) can be considered an "old acquaintance" by now, the complexity of the mutual interplay between membrane potential course and the underlying currents can still hold secrets, whose revelation may help in the interpretation of otherwise puzzling observations. The aim of this brief review is to analyze such an interplay from two viewpoints: how membrane current sets membrane potential course and how membrane potential course may, in turn, affect individual channel activity. The outcome of this analysis leads to the general conclusion that considering the "dynamic" nature of membrane potential is of major importance in explaining the physiological and pharmacological modulation of the AP. To illustrate this conclusion, specific issues are discussed in the review including the applicability of the term "membrane resistance" under dynamic conditions, and the role of membrane potential velocity in determining "reverse rate-dependency" of drug effects on AP duration and in exposing "non-equilibrium" phenomena in channel gating. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Duan Y.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings - 13th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking, and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2012 | Year: 2012

Service contracts function as interfaces which bridge IT implementation, business modeling, and economical analysis for service systems among various stakeholder from a holistic perspective. This paper conducts a review of recent research and practice on service contracts with focus on service contract content and service contract management. Dimensions of f Quality of data (QoD), Quality of service (QoS), Legal issue, Context, Business term g are introduced to evaluate service contract content. Dimensions of { Description of contract, Monitor/Control, Selection, Matchmaking, Composition } are introduced to evaluate service contract management Based on the survey, we propose possible directions for future efforts. © 2012 IEEE.

Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology | Year: 2011

Progress through the cell mitoticcycle requires precise timing of the intrinsic molecular steps and tightcoordination with the environmental signals that maintain a cell intothe proper physiological context. Because of their great functionalflexibility, ion channels coordinate the upstream and downstreamsignals that converge on the cell cycle machinery. Both voltage- andligand-gated channels have been implicated in the control of differentcell cycle checkpoints in normal as well as neoplastic cells. Ionchannels mediate the calcium signals that punctuate the mitoticprocess, the cell volume oscillations typical of cycling cells, and theexocytosis of autocrine or angiogenetic factors. Other functions of ionchannels in proliferation are still matter of debate. These may or maynot depend on ion transport, as the channel proteins can form macromolecularcomplexes with growth factor and cell adhesion receptors.Direct conformational coupling with the cytoplasmic regulatoryproteins is also possible. Derangement or relaxed control of the aboveprocesses can promote neoplasia. Specific types of ion channels haveturned out to participate in the different stages of the tumor progression,in which cell heterogeneity is increased by the selection ofmalignant cell clones expressing the ion channel types that bettersupport unrestrained growth. However, a comprehensive mechanisticpicture of the functional relations between ion channels and cellproliferation is yet not available, partly because of the considerableexperimental challenges offered by studying these processes in livingmammalian cells. No doubt, such studies will constitute one of themost fruitful research fields for the next generation of cell physiologists. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.

Grassi R.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2010

The aim of this article is to investigate the governance models of companies listed on the Italian Stock Exchange by using a network approach, which describes the interlinks between boards of directors. Following mainstream literature, I construct a weighted graph representing the listed companies (vertices) and their relationships (weighted edges), the Corporate Board Network; I then apply three different vertex centrality measures: degree, betweenness and flow betweenness. What emerges from the network construction and by applying the degree centrality is a structure with a large number of connections but not particularly dense, where the presence of a small number of highly connected nodes (hubs) is evident. Then I focus on betweenness and flow betweenness; indeed I expect that these centrality measures may give a representation of the intensity of the relationship between companies, capturing the volume of information flowing from one vertex to another. Finally, I investigate the possible scale-free structure of the network. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Genovesi S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Santoro A.,Nephrology
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety | Year: 2013

The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is very high and also in this population AF is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Warfarin is the treatment of choice for AF to prevent thromboembolic events, but it has been reported that its use in CRF and hemodialysis (HD) patients is associated with an increased risk of bleeding compared with patients with normal renal function. Moreover, historical studies suggest that warfarin increases the incidence of both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in HD patients. However, a clear benefit:risk ratio against warfarin in patients with CRF or ESRD and AF has not been demonstrated. New oral anticoagulants, thrombin or factor Xa inhibitors, are now available. Patients with severe CRF (i.e., glomerular filtration rate < 30 mL/min) and with ESRD, however, were excluded from the trials that have established their efficacy and safety. The advent of new oral anticoagulants raises the important question if patients with severe CRF and ESRD should be excluded or not from this new therapeutic opportunity. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.

Tadic M.,University of Belgrade | Cuspidi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Clinical Cardiology | Year: 2013

Metabolic syndrome represents a cluster of atherogenic risk factors including hypertension, insulin resistance, obesity, and dyslipidemia. Considering that all of these risk factors could influence the development of atrial fibrillation, an association between atrial fibrillation and the metabolic syndrome has been suggested. Additionally, oxidative stress and inflammation have been involved in the pathogenesis of both metabolic syndrome and atrial fibrillation. The mechanisms that relate metabolic syndrome to the increased risk of atrial fibrillation occurrence are not completely understood. Metabolic syndrome and atrial fibrillation are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Because atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia, and along with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome constantly increasing, it would be very important to determine the relationship between these 2 entities, especially due to the fact that the risk factors of metabolic syndrome are mainly correctable. This review focused on the available evidence supporting the association between metabolic syndrome components and metabolic syndrome as a clinical entity with atrial fibrillation. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Duan Y.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings - 13th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking, and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2012 | Year: 2012

Value is the premier pursuing which drives a service implementation and dominates service selection. Added value will help to maximize the business profiting from existing service system centering positive reuse or redundancy reducing. In view of absence of a general calculating mechanism of service value which focus on added value in the XaaS (everything as a service), we firstly model XaaS in a multiple semantics background. Then we identified the critical target object for value computation. Hence after we propose a calculation mechanism of service value and added value for situations including data as a service (DaaS), information as a service (FaaS), composition scenarios, optimization and their mix with usage explanations. Ongoing complicated implementation which centers service contracts is outlined. © 2012 IEEE.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores | Baselga A.,University of Santiago de Compostela
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2012

1.We used a hyperdiverse invertebrate group, tenebrionid beetles, to test competing hypotheses about the factors correlated with the spatial variation in species richness and composition across Europe. 2.We considered the following hypotheses for explaining variation in species richness, (i) spatial heterogeneity, (ii) environmental energy, and (iii) dispersal limitation and post-glacial recolonisation, and the following hypotheses for variation in species composition, (i) current climate, (ii) Pleistocene glaciations, and (iii) neutral dynamics. 3.We used inventories of 36 European territories, built from a database containing the distributions of 1010 species or subspecies. Area, spatial position, and topographical and climatic variables were used as predictors in regression (richness) and constrained analysis of principal coordinates (composition) analyses. 4.The latitudinal richness gradient found in European tenebrionids was mostly explained by the joint effect of environmental and spatial variables, supporting the climate and incomplete recolonisation hypotheses. 5.A parabolic relationship of endemism with longitude points to the presence of centres of endemism in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkans. Current climatic conditions alone were not sufficient to explain spatial turnover patterns of European tenebrionids, which are largely influenced by spatial factors. 6.Both the Pleistocene glaciations and neutral hypotheses were supported, but the fact that turnover is not uniform across Europe suggests that the historical effects of Pleistocene glaciations had a deeper impact on tenebrionid assemblages than neutral dynamics. Thus, variation in species richness seems more directly controlled by climatic factors, whereas geographical constraints related to dispersal limitation or stochastic colonisation events influenced species composition. © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Restrepo M.I.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Restrepo M.I.,Veterans Evidence Based Research Dissemination and Implementation Center | Faverio P.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Faverio P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Anzueto A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pneumonia is considered the leading infectious diseases cause of death and the seventh leading cause of death overall in the US. There is significant interest in understanding the relationship between community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and mortality. RECENT FINDINGS: Most clinical studies examining patients with CAP have used an arbitrary in-hospital or 30-day mortality as a short-term mortality clinical end point. However, long-term mortality (arbitrary >3 months) factors, incidence, prediction, and implications on patient care are important issues that require further evaluation in patients with CAP. This review focuses on the most recent literature assessing the importance and the frequency of long-term associated outcomes in patients with CAP, the risk factors, and possible implications for future strategies. Multiple risk factors that include age, sex, comorbid conditions, type of pneumonia, and severity of illness are associated with higher long-term mortality. In addition, several biomarkers were demonstrated to be independently associated with long-term mortality. SUMMARY: Despite advances in the understanding of long-term mortality among CAP patients, there is still a high unacceptable long-term mortality. Public health programs should address this important gap, considering the high level of complexity factors in patients with CAP. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Goffredo P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Roman S.A.,Duke University | Sosa J.A.,Duke University
Thyroid | Year: 2014

Background: There is wide variability in the degree of adherence to guideline recommendations among caregivers. Our aim was to determine the clinical impact of the 2006 guidelines from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) on the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in the United States. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database (2004-2009) was employed. Patients were divided into two groups based on receipt of care before (DTC 04-06) and after (DTC 07-09) the release of the 2006 ATA guidelines. Adherence was determined with a chi-square test and binary logistic regression. Survival was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. Results: A total of 12,816 patients with DTC were identified between 2004 and 2006, and 14,514 between 2007 and 2009 (DTC 07-09). Adherence to Recommendation 26 (surgery) tended to increase in DTC 07-09 (82.2% vs. 83.2%, p=0.083). Factors associated with discordant practice among the DTC 07-09 group were older age, treatment in the Northeast, having more than one primary cancer, tumor size >4 cm, and follicular and Hürthle cell histologies. Factors associated with accordance were treatment in the Midwest, level II-VI metastases, having lymph nodes examined, AJCC Stage III, and presenting with distant metastases. Patients treated in accordance with Recommendation 26 showed prolonged disease-specific survival (p<0.001). A trend toward more adherence to Recommendation 27 (lymphadenectomy) was observed over time (68.4% vs. 69.7%, p=0.065). Adherence to Recommendation 27 was not associated with disease-specific survival (p=0.539). Less discordance from guidelines was seen for cancers that were 2.1-4 cm, extrathyroidal, and greater than Stage I. Overall accordance with Recommendation 32 (radioactive iodine [RAI] ablation) increased in DTC 07-09 compared to DTC 04-06 (61.7% vs. 57.5% respectively, p<0.001), and this was associated with improved disease-specific survival in DTC 07-09 (p<0.001). Predictors of care discordant with guidelines were patient age ≥65 years, living in the Northeast, and not undergoing total thyroidectomy. Factors associated with RAI use in accordance with guidelines were married status, treatment in the South, and having more than one lymph node examined. Conclusions: Care in accordance with evidence-based guidelines for DTC is associated with improved patient outcomes. Ongoing efforts should be undertaken to propagate guidelines to reduce variation in care and improve overall quality of care. © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Mancia G.,Clinica Medica | Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Handbook of Clinical Neurology | Year: 2013

The sympathetic nervous system participates in the development and progression of the essential hypertensive state, as shown by increased circulating plasma levels of the adrenergic neurotransmitter norepinephrine, elevated norepinephrine spillover rate, and augmented sympathetic nerve traffic discharge detected in the high blood pressure state. In addition, the sympathetic overdrive participates in the development of the metabolic disarray as well as target organ damage frequently detected in this condition. The above mentioned sympathetic abnormalities explain why adrenergic overdrive represents an important therapeutic target in the treatment of hypertension. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Comerio M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings - IEEE 10th International Conference on Services Computing, SCC 2013 | Year: 2013

Service contract matchmaking represents a promising path towards the definition of accurate service selection mechanisms. Basically, it consists in evaluating the degree of match between preferences explicitly defined by a service customer and the contractual terms offered by service providers. However, service contract matchmaking assumes that a service customer is always aware of the contractual terms on which to specify preferences. In reality, a service customer often specifies preferences only on a very limited set of common and well-known terms (e.g., price). This paper proposes a new approach to service contract selection that adopts the value in use concept to quantify the trade-off between benefits and sacrifices related to contractual terms on which the customer has omitted to specify preferences. Experimental activities in the car insurance domain demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. © 2013 IEEE.

Pacchioni G.,University of Milan Bicocca
ACS Catalysis | Year: 2014

Carboxylic acids play a fundamental role in the transformation of biomass into liquid fuels and other useful chemicals. In order to reduce the O/C content of biofuels, carboxylic acids need to be decomposed by decarboxylation, dehydroxylation, or decarbonylation unimolecular reactions, or they need to be converted into ketones via complex bimolecular reaction mechanisms. Ketonization, that is, the transformation of carboxylic acids into ketones, carbon dioxide, and water, is promoted by heterogeneous catalysts based on oxide materials. Among the most active catalysts are titania and zirconia surfaces. In recent years, a large body of experimental data has been complemented by specific investigations performed with first-principles electronic structure calculations based on density functional theory (DFT). In this review, I discuss the present level of understanding of the bonding modes of carboxylic acids (acetic acid in particular) on the TiO2 and ZrO2 surfaces as obtained from DFT calculations. Enolization and ketonization reaction mechanisms determined at the DFT level on TiO2 and ZrO2 surfaces are also discussed, and the results are analyzed in view of the experimental evidence. Finally, the role of supported metal particles, of the redox properties of the oxide catalyst, and the nature of the active sites on the surface of titania and zirconia are discussed. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Papagno C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports | Year: 2011

In this paper, an overview of the studies relating naming to the uncinate fasciculus is reported. With the introduction of contemporary neuroimaging techniques, namely of diffusion tensor imaging, white matter tracts have been investigated more thoroughly and possible changes in the uncinate fasciculus integrity have been correlated to different neuropsychological deficits. Although previous research has proposed a role of the left uncinate fasciculus on action and object naming or in semantic processing, a more recent study has suggested that naming famous people could be the most relevant task in which this bundle is involved, the semantic component being intact. The uncinate fasciculus connects the orbitofrontal cortex, involved in face encoding and in processing famous names, to the temporal pole, which is crucial in naming people. This conclusion is supported by the fact that tip-of-the-tongue states in older adults with reduced integrity of the uncinate fasciculus mainly concern proper names. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Reshetnikov A.N.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology | Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

Rotan Perccottus glenii is one of the most widespread alien invasive freshwater fish in Eurasia. We reviewed the mechanisms of its dispersion, identified the potential range and regarded these results in the light of possible prevention of further expansion. Our analysis was based on 970 presence records and 198 absence records from both invaded and native parts of the range. Since 1916 invasion dynamics of rotan have been driven by episodic anthropogenic translocations, followed by spontaneous expansion within river networks, and secondary translocations. Maxent species distribution models with independent validations showed that rotan distribution in Eurasia has climatic limitations; rotan have already invaded most areas with high climatic suitability in the Palearctic, but some regions of North Eurasia and North America, where rotan is currently absent, have high climatic suitability and may be vulnerable to invasion in the future. Rotan's high invasiveness, lack of geographical barriers and absence of reliable methods to prevent spread present a very high risk of expansion within appropriate climate limits in Europe. Our analysis shows that the long-term invasion dynamics of an invasive freshwater species may depend on climate variables rather than on river basin borders. Species distribution models, based on large scale environmental layers, can be useful to understand the invasion risk for other freshwater species restricted to shallow aquatic habitats. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Cunha C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Panseri S.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute | Panseri S.,University of Bologna | Antonini S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine | Year: 2011

Effective nerve regeneration and functional recovery subsequent to peripheral nerve injury is still a clinical challenge. Autologous nerve graft transplantation is a feasible treatment in several clinical cases, but it is limited by donor site morbidity and insufficient donor tissue, impairing complete functional recovery. Tissue engineering has introduced innovative approaches to promote and guide peripheral nerve regeneration by using biomimetic conduits creating favorable microenvironments for nervous ingrowth, but despite the development of a plethora of nerve prostheses, few approaches have as yet entered the clinic. Promising strategies using nanotechnology have recently been proposed, such as the use of scaffolds with functionalized cell-binding domains, the use of guidance channels with cell-scale internally oriented fibers, and the possibility of sustained release of neurotrophic factors. This review addresses the fabrication, advantages, drawbacks, and results achieved by the most recent nanotechnology approaches in view of future solutions for peripheral nerve repair. From the Clinical Editor: Peripheral nerve repair strategies are very limited despite numerous advances on the field of neurosciences and regenerative medicine. This review discusses nanotechnology based strategies including scaffolds with functionalized cell binding domains, the use of guidance channels, and the potential use of sustained release neurotropic factors. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Brogioli D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zhao R.,Wageningen University | Zhao R.,Center of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology | Biesheuvel P.M.,Wageningen University | Biesheuvel P.M.,Center of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2011

Electrical energy can be obtained from the controlled mixing of fresh (river) and saline (sea) water. Existing technologies such as pressure retarded osmosis and reverse electrodialysis make use of ion-exchange membranes which must be crossed by either the water or the ions. Recently a new physical principle has been experimentally demonstrated, which allows extraction of electrical energy without making use of membranes, based on the temporary storage of ions inside two porous electrodes kept at different electrical potentials, and the repeatable expansion/contraction of the electrostatic double layers formed inside the electrodes upon changing the salt concentration [D. Brogioli, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2009, 103, 058501]. To make further investigations and to improve the energy recovery, we developed a simple prototype cell of much larger dimensions. Because of the larger dimensions (thus higher currents), testing is more facile, while this design can be the basis for further scaling-up of this technology. In order to reduce the internal resistance of the cell, the electrodes are no longer placed side-by-side, but parallel to one another, separated only by a 250 μm-thick open spacer channel to form a "sandwich"-like flow cell. In a lab-scale experimental stack consisting of 8 such cells (with outer dimensions 6 × 6 × 1 cm 3) we extract about 2 J per charging/discharging cycle in 500 mM/1 mM NaCl salt solution, an amount which is 20 times higher per cycle per unit electrode mass than previously obtained. The extracted energy increases with the operating voltage, in line with predictions of the Gouy-Chapman-Stern model for double layer formation. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Angiero F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Anticancer Research | Year: 2010

Background: Ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumour (ECT) is a rare, benign neoplasm of uncertain histogenesis, which appears to exclusively involve the oral cavity, particularly the tongue. Case Report: We report the case of a 27-year-old woman with a 0.7 cm tumoral lesion of 3 months' duration on the dorsum of the tongue. Histologically, it comprised well-circumscribed, unencapsulated lobular proliferations of fusiform and polygonal cells, with varying degrees of cellularity, with neoplastic cells often set in a myxoid, chondroid or hyalinized background. Immunohistochemistry revealed positivity of the neoplastic cells for antibodies directed against S-100, glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, plus negativity for CD-57(leu-7), epithelial membrane antigen, smooth muscle actin, desmin and cytokeratin AE1-AE3. The diagnosis was consistent with ECT. Total excision was performed and there has been no recurrence after 10 months' follow-up. Conclusion: This is the 37th case reported in the English language literature; ECT is characterized microscopically by a biphasic myxoid and chondroid pattern. Immunohistochemical expression of S100, glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, very helpful in confirming diagnosis, suggest a probable mesenchymal and neural origin of this rare entity.

Zani A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Proverbio A.M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Behavioral and Brain Functions | Year: 2012

Background: There is at present crescent empirical evidence deriving from different lines of ERPs research that, unlike previously observed, the earliest sensory visual response, known as C1 component or P/N80, generated within the striate cortex, might be modulated by selective attention to visual stimulus features. Up to now, evidence of this modulation has been related to space location, and simple features such as spatial frequency, luminance, and texture. Additionally, neurophysiological conditions, such as emotion, vigilance, the reflexive or voluntary nature of input attentional selection, and workload have also been related to C1 modulations, although at least the workload status has received controversial indications. No information is instead available, at present, for objects attentional selection.Methods: In this study object- and space-based attention mechanisms were conjointly investigated by presenting complex, familiar shapes of artefacts and animals, intermixed with distracters, in different tasks requiring the selection of a relevant target-category within a relevant spatial location, while ignoring the other shape categories within this location, and, overall, all the categories at an irrelevant location. EEG was recorded from 30 scalp electrode sites in 21 right-handed participants.Results and Conclusions: ERP findings showed that visual processing was modulated by both shape- and location-relevance per se, beginning separately at the latency of the early phase of a precocious negativity (60-80 ms) at mesial scalp sites consistent with the C1 component, and a positivity at more lateral sites. The data also showed that the attentional modulation progressed conjointly at the latency of the subsequent P1 (100-120 ms) and N1 (120-180 ms), as well as later-latency components. These findings support the views that (1) V1 may be precociously modulated by direct top-down influences, and participates to object, besides simple features, attentional selection; (2) object spatial and non-spatial features selection might begin with an early, parallel detection of a target object in the visual field, followed by the progressive focusing of spatial attention onto the location of an actual target for its identification, somehow in line with neural mechanisms reported in the literature as "object-based space selection", or with those proposed for visual search. © 2012 Zani and Proverbio; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Zanchi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gaetani M.,University of Milan
Italian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2011

A new geological map of the central-western part of the Karakoram belt (Northern Areas and North West Frontier Province, Paki - stan) is presented with its explanatory notes. The map is printed at a 1:100,000 scale, summarizing original field surveys performed at a 1:25,000 scale, which result from the first systematic reconnaissance of the area. This work represents the synthesis of several years of exploration studies and is mainly based based on original stratigraphic and structural field analyses focused on one of the less known orogenic belts of Central Asia. Original field surveys have been integrated within a GIS using georeferenced Russian topographic maps and grey-tone panchromatic SPOT images. The study area is located along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, extending from the top of the Chapursan Valley of the Hunza region to the Yarkhun Valley from the Karambar Pass to Gazin and to the upper part of the Rich Gol, which belong to Chitral. Three major tectonic units are exposed in the study area. From north to south they are: the East Hindu Kush-Wakhan, the Tirich Boundary Zone and the Karakoram Terrane. The first and the last units consist of Gondwana-related terranes showing a Precambrian to earliest Paleozoic basement covered by Paleozoic to Mesozoic sedimentary successions which record their Late Paleozoic rifting from Gondwana, their drifting, and successive accretion to the Eurasian margin. They both show some similarities with the S-Parmir ranges, exposed to the north of the Afghan Wakhan. The Tirich Boundary Zone is a complex assemblage of high grade metabasites and gneiss with small remnants of sub-continental peridotites, which separate East Hindu Kush from the Karakoram. Its emplacement has been related to the possible opening of a basin between the two blocks at the end of the Paleozoic, followed by its deformation during the collision of Kara koram with East Hindu Kush, dating to the end of Triassic or beginning of the Jurassic. Detailed mapping has been carried out in the Karakoram belt, especially along its northern portion, which consists of a complex stack of tectono-stratigraphic units, showing peculiar stratigraphic and structural features. These units were progressively deformed and thrusted during the collision with the Kohistan Paleo-Arc and with India which occurred between the end of the Cretaceous and Paleogene. These collisions were also followed by continuous crustal thickening and by left-lateral shearing, which was especially active along the western margin of the mapped area. Our map also includes parts of the Karakoram Batholith, mainly Cretaceous in age, and of the Darkot-Gazin Metasedimentary Belt, which is exposed to the south of the main intrusive bodies and consists of Permo-Triassic metasediments. © Società Geologica Italiana, Roma 2011.

De Blasio F.V.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Blasio F.V.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

The enigmatic deposits building up the Olympus Mons aureole on Mars are likely among the largest landslide remnants in the Solar System. These deposits exhibit an extraordinary run-out distance (up to nearly 700. km), in spite of a fall height some 100 times smaller.After quantifying the mobility of the Olympus Mons aureole lobes it is suggested, based on dynamical considerations and morphological analysis, that the aureole could be the consequence of a series of gigantic subaqueous landslides. In order to bring evidence in favor of this interpretation, comparisons are drawn between the different landslide deposits on Earth and Mars, emphasizing the similarity with the rock avalanches of the Canary Islands and the Hawaii. The results of experimental subaqueous debris flows are also analyzed, and numerical calculations are introduced to simulate the dynamics of flow. In analogy with certain subaqueous landslides on Earth, it is possible that the outstanding run-out of the aureole lobes was a consequence of hydroplaning, a natural lubrication by water during flow. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Crosta G.B.,University of Milan Bicocca
Granular Matter | Year: 2015

Granular flows occur in nature on hard surfaces but more frequently on erodible layers of different origin, thickness and properties. Experimental test results are available for testing analytical and numerical solutions, validating them and the definition of the material properties. A series of numerical simulations was performed via FEM analyses considering the granular material to behave as an elasto-plastic Mohr–Coulomb solid. The obtained results were compared with experimental observations of spreading over horizontal and inclined chutes, on both rigid and erodible layers. It turns out that the numerical model is able to capture the influence of the test geometry in case of both rigid and erodible surfaces, but it fails to replicate the excessive runout observed in the presence of layers close to the critical slope angle. It is suggested that this difference could be originated by the meta-stable conditions in which erodible layers are deposited in the experiments considered from the literature. For granular flows moving over a rigid surface both runout and peak front velocity increase with the column aspect ratio, whereas runout increases more rapidly for chute slope larger than (Formula presented.), in agreement with published experimental results. Much more complex is the understanding of granular flows over erodible layers. The simulations replicate the generation of waves due to the erosion of the erodible layer, as well the sequential formation of multiple shear bands inside the collapsing column causing the rapid release of multiple subvolumes. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Massironi M.,University of Padua | Bistacchi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Menegon L.,University of Tromso
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

Low angle normal faults and other weak faults are common in the metamorphic core of collisional orogens. They frequently show a phyllosilicate-rich mylonitic foliation that was reactivated under brittle conditions. Experimental and theoretical works indicate that mechanical anisotropies exert a substantial influence on shear failure and frictional sliding, eventually inhibiting the nucleation and propagation of new Andersonian shear fractures and favoring the localization of brittle failure along the pre-existing foliations. Metamorphic phyllosilicate-rich rocks may show a friction coefficient varying from 0.6, at high angles to the foliation, to 0.2-0.4, for shear along the inherited foliation. To test the influence of mechanical anisotropies on the development of non-Andersonian faults, we have applied a modified slip tendency analysis to three misoriented phyllosilicate-rich faults of the European Alps. The analysis accounts for anisotropy in friction coefficients, and has been named "Anisotropic Slip Tendency analysis". Here we show that brittle deformation along misoriented phyllosilicate-rich foliations is more probable than the development of new Andersonian faults. The presence of a well developed network of weak, phyllosilicate-rich faults may influence the overall structural style and mechanical properties of the brittle lithosphere in collisional orogens. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Perrone M.R.,University of Salento | Piazzalunga A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Prato M.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Carofalo I.,University of Salento
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2011

Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) and PM2.5 samples simultaneously collected at a coastal site (40.4°N; 18.1°E) in the central Mediterranean are analyzed to investigate the relative role of ions (Cl -, NO3-, SO42-, Na +, NH4+, K +, Mg 2+, Ca 2+) and carbonaceous species in the fine (PM2.5) and coarse (TSP-PM2.5) sampled mass. A methodology is described to determine carbonate carbon (CC), organic carbon (OC), and elemental carbon (EC) levels from Thermal Optical Transmittance (TOT) measurements since carbonate particles may significantly contribute to the Mediterranean particulate. We have found that CC levels vary up to 1.7 μg m -3 and 0.8 μg m -3 in the coarse and fine fraction, respectively. OC and EC levels vary up to 3.0 μg m -3 and 1.5 μg m -3, respectively in the coarse fraction, and vary within the 2.2-10 μg m -3 and 0.5-5 μg m -3 range, respectively in the fine fraction. Hence, OC levels may be overestimated mainly in the coarse fraction, if the CC contribution is not accounted for. CO32- levels (calculated from CC concentrations) account on average for 6% and 10% of the fine and coarse mass, respectively and allow balancing the anion deficit resulting from the ionic balance of ions detected by ion chromatography (IC). Total carbon TC = (OC + EC) accounts on average for 29% and 6% of the fine and coarse mass, respectively. IC ions account for 38% and 17% of the fine and coarse mass, respectively. OC, EC, SO42-, NH4+, and K + are the major components in the fine fraction, accounting on average for 84% of the analyzed PM2.5 mass. Marine- and crust-originated ions (Cl -, Mg 2+, Na +, Ca 2+, CO32-) and NO3- are mainly in the coarse fraction and represent on average 83% of the analyzed coarse mass. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Siesto G.,Humanitas Clinical and Research Center | Ornaghi S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ieda N.,Humanitas Clinical and Research Center | Vitobello D.,Humanitas Clinical and Research Center
Gynecologic Oncology | Year: 2013

Objectives Patients with high anesthesiological risk due to old age, obesity and severe co-morbidities alone or in combination are considered as poor candidates for extensive surgical staging procedures, especially if through minimally invasive approach. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of robotic surgical staging of endometrial and cervical cancers in the medically ill patient. Methods Between 07-2007 and 12-2012, consecutive patients scheduled for staging for endometrial or cervical cancer were directed towards robotic staging and divided into two groups according to their starting score in the American Society for Anaesthesiologists (ASA): Group 1 (ASA 1-2) and Group 2 (ASA ≥ 3). Results Overall, 169 (71.9%) patients had ASA 1-2 whereas 66 (28.1%) had ASA ≥ 3. ASA ≥ 3 were older (p < 0.0001) with a greater proportion of co-morbidities (p < 0.0001), as well as of Class II (4.7% vs 19.7%; p = 0.0007) and Class III obesity (2.4% vs 31.8%; p < 0.0001). No differences were found between groups in terms of operative time, blood loss, intra- and post-operative complications, conversion rate and hospitalization. No differences were recorded either in terms of staging procedures performed or in terms of number of pelvic (p = 0.72) and para-aortic (p = 0.86) lymph nodes retrieved. Conclusions Despite theoretical concerns about the performance of robotic surgery in patients with high anesthesiological risk, our experience showed that robotics is a feasible, safe and viable option for the management of endometrial and cervical cancers also in this more vulnerable group of patients. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Islam M.M.,University of Bonn | Islam M.M.,Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Paris | Calatayud M.,CNRS Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory | Pacchioni G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011

The mechanisms of adsorption of hydrogen on the anatase TiO 2(101) surface and of its diffusion in the bulk are investigated with DFT calculations and compared with similar results obtained for the diffusion of hydrogen on the rutile (110) surface. Because of the different oxygen environments in anatase and rutile surfaces, the H binding energy on the anatase surface is 0.2-0.3 eV smaller than in rutile. Various processes for H diffusion are investigated using the climbing nudged-elastic-band (cNEB) approach. We have identified three main diffusion mechanisms, leading to migration of H on the surface, diffusion into the bulk, and desorption of H 2 molecule. Our calculated activation barrier (E act) shows that migration of H into the bulk is the kinetically most favorable process. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Ciucci D.,University of Milan Bicocca
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

Before the advent of fuzzy and rough sets, some authors in the 1960s studied three-valued logics and pairs of sets with a meaning similar to those we can encounter nowadays in modern theories such as rough sets, decision theory and granular computing. We revise these studies using the modern terminology and making reference to the present literature. Finally, we put forward some future directions of investigation. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

Taddei M.,University of Perugia | Costantino F.,University of Perugia | Costantino F.,CNR Institute of Chemistry of organometallic Compounds | Ienco A.,CNR Institute of Chemistry of organometallic Compounds | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2013

The synthesis of the first water stable isoreticular phosphonate based mixed-linker metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is achieved via the use of the N-donor heterocyclic co-ligands. Furthermore, these isoreticular phosphonate frameworks show selective CO2/N2 uptake at low pressures. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Brovelli S.,University College London | Sforazzini G.,University of Oxford | Serri M.,University College London | Winroth G.,University College London | And 4 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2012

White electroluminescence and fine-tuning of the emission color from binary blends of a blue-emitting polymer and a green/yellow-emitting threaded molecular wire consisting of a conjugated polymer supramolecularly encapsulated by functionalized cyclodextrins are demonstrated. Encapsulation controls the minimum intermolecular distance on the nanoscale, resulting in suppressed energy-transfer between the blend constituents and reduced formation of interchain charge-transfer complexes. The use of a green-emitting polyrotaxane significantly improves the electrical properties with respect to blends of a blue electroluminescent polyrotaxane and leads to a significant reduction in the turn-on voltage required for achieving white electroluminescence (V ON = 3V), with only 20% by weight of the encapsulated material. Blends of a blue-emitting polymer and a green/yellow-emitting threaded molecular wire emit white luminescence due to control of the minimum intermolecular distance at the nanoscale, which results in suppressed energy transfer between the blend constituents and reduced formation of interchain charge-transfer complexes. Light-emitting diodes incorporating only 20% by weight of the encapsulated material display white electroluminescence with a turn-on voltage of just 3 V. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Domaneschi L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Consumer Culture | Year: 2012

Given the growing transitional character of food, on its way from farm to fork, a rising number of people and institutions affect what we eat, governing how food is produced, consumed and distributed day-to-day. The sociological response to these transformations lead to a conceptualization of food as a dynamic field, crucial to the understanding of how we negotiate production and consumption as specific and meaningful sets of activities. In this article, I suggest applying the recent conceptualization of practice theory in order to understand the increasing complexity of food issues. I start by illustrating some basic sociological works on consumption of food quality, then I present the main outcome of a qualitative research study about the commercial cooking in a Northern Italian city. The issue of food quality and the effects of its social construction on consumers habits are eventually discussed. © 2012 The Author(s).

Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

Cell migration is necessary for proper embryonic development and adult tissue remodeling. Its mechanisms determine the physiopathology of processes such as neuronal targeting, inflammation, wound healing and metastatic spread. Crawling of cells onto solid surfaces requires a controlled sequence of cell protrusions and retractions that mainly depends on sophisticated regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, although the contribution of microtubules should not be neglected. This process is triggered and modulated by a combination of diffusible and fixed environmental signals. External cues are sensed and integrated by membrane receptors, including integrins, which transduce these signals into cellular signaling pathways, often centered on the small GTPase proteins belonging to the Rho family. These pathways regulate the coordinated cytoskeletal rearrangements necessary for proper timing of adhesion, contraction and detachement at the front and rear side of cells finding their way through the extracellular spaces. The overall process involves continuous modulation of cell motility, shape and volume, in which ion channels play major roles. In particular, Ca2+ signals have both global and local regulatory effects on cell motility, because they target the contractile proteins as well as many regulatory proteins. After reviewing the fundamental mechanisms of eukaryotic cell migration onto solid substrates, we briefly describe how integrin receptors and ion channels are involved in cell movement. We next examine a few processes in which these mechanisms have been studied in depth. We thus illustrate how integrins and K+ channels control cell volume and migration, how intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis affects the motility of neuronal growth cones and what is known about the ion channel roles in epithelial cell migration. These mechanisms are implicated in a variety of pathological processes, such as the disruption of neural circuits and wound healing. Finally, we describe the interaction between neoplastic cells and their local environment and how derangement of adhesion can lead to metastatic spread. It is likely that the cellular mechanisms controlled by integrin receptors, ion channels or both participate in the entire metastatic process. Until now, however, evidence is limited to a few steps of the metastatic cascade, such as brain tumor invasiveness. © 2010 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Halmagyi N.,CNRS Theoretical and High Energy Physics | Petrini M.,CNRS Theoretical and High Energy Physics | Petrini M.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We find infinite families of supersymmetric solutions of four dimensional, N = 2 gauged supergravity with Lifshitz, Schrödinger and also AdS symmetries. We focus on the canonical example of a single hypermultiplet and a single vector multiplet and find that the spectrum of solutions depends crucially on whether the gaugings are electric or magnetic but to a far milder extent on the strength of the gaugings. For purely electric or purely magnetic gaugings we generically find Lifshitz solutions, while for a mixed gauging we find Schrödinger and AdS solutions. For some of the gaugings the theory has a known lift to string/M-theory thus giving a higher dimensional embedding of our solutions. © 2011 SISSA.

Chalmers J.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2016

Chronic diseases afflict patients for many years, often to the end of life, and there is increasing need for estimating lifelong risk and for evaluating the effects of treatment in the long term. Yet recommendations for lifelong treatment are most frequently based on findings from randomized clinical trials lasting only a few years. There is therefore a clear need for much longer term data, and here we present the advantages and disadvantages of many strategies, including the use of long-term posttrial follow-up, of long-term prospective cohort studies, registry databases, and of administrative databases. We also emphasize the need for long-term cost-effectiveness studies. One of the most promising strategies comes from linkage of data gathered through the ever-expanding pool of administrative databases worldwide with data from other sources, including randomized trials and the many forms of observational study. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

BACKGROUND:: Previous meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of blood pressure (BP)-lowering treatment provided overwhelming evidence that treatment markedly reduces risk of cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive patients. However, adverse events associated with BP-lowering treatment have never been surveyed systematically. OBJECTIVES:: Identifying among BP-lowering RCTs those reporting a common and meaningful index of treatment-attributed adverse events, and describing the burden of these adverse events accompanying the benefits of mortality and morbidity reduction induced by treatment. METHODS:: The database consisted of the BP-lowering RCTs (active vs. placebo or less active treatment) we have described (70 RCTs, 255?970 participants, 1?091?964 patient-years). A common index of relevant adverse events was identified as permanent treatment discontinuation attributed to treatment adverse events. Risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals, standardized to a SBP/DBP reduction of 10/5?mmHg, of seven fatal and nonfatal outcomes and of treatment discontinuations for adverse events were calculated (random-effects model). The relationships of outcome reductions and discontinuation excess to SBP and DBP reductions were investigated by meta-regressions. RESULTS:: Forty-four RCTs provided data on treatment discontinuations for adverse events and six more on serious adverse events because of treatment (179?949 patients, 719?796 patient-years). In these 50 RCTs, a significant 24% reduction of major cardiovascular event risk was associated with a significant 89% increase in the risk of discontinuations (33 major cardiovascular effects prevented and 84 excess discontinuations/1000 patients for 5 years). Metaregression analysis indicated that both outcome reductions and treatment discontinuation excess were significantly related to the extent of SBP and DBP reduction, but absolute treatment discontinuation excess disproportionally increased with larger BP reductions than increase in outcome risk reduction. Furthermore, a standard SBP reduction was found associated with a constant relative reduction, but a smaller absolute reduction of cardiovascular events, and a greater relative excess of treatment discontinuations when the achieved SBP was below 130?mmHg rather than in higher ranges. CONCLUSION:: The burden of adverse events associated with BP-lowering treatment should be considered not to deny patients the overwhelming benefits of BP lowering, but whenever the extent of the BP lowering or the BP target to be achieved are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that contain pathways through which ions can flow. By shifting between closed and open conformational states ('gating' process), they control passive ion flow through the plasma membrane. Channels can be gated by membrane potential, or specific ligands, or other agents, such as mechanical stimuli. The efficacy of the gating process and the kinetics of subsequent inactivation or desensitization are regulated by intracellular mechanisms. Many types of membrane channels exist, with different degrees of ion selectivity. By controlling ion fluxes, they typically regulate membrane potential and excitability, shape the action potential, trigger muscle contraction and exocytosis (through Ca2+ influx), regulate cell volume and many other cellular processes. In the first part of the chapter, we give a brief introduction to the main physiological aspects of ion channels, which may not be familiar to molecular biologists. Subsequently, as a reference for later chapters, we summarize the main structural and functional features of the channel-proteins presently known to be related to integrin receptors. © 2010 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Van Wassenhove S.,University of Michigan | Volonteri M.,University of Michigan | Mayer L.,University of Zurich | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2012

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been detected in the centers of most nearby massive galaxies. Galaxies today are not only the products of billions of years of galaxy mergers, but also billions of years of SMBH activity as active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that is connected to galaxy mergers. In this context, detection of AGN pairs should be relatively common. Observationally, however, dual AGNs are scant, being just a few percent of all AGNs. In this Letter, we investigate the triggering of AGN activity in merging galaxies via a suite of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations. We follow the dynamics and accretion onto the SMBHs as they move from separations of tens of kiloparsecs to tens of parsecs. Our resolution, cooling, and star formation implementation produce an inhomogeneous, multi-phase interstellar medium, allowing us to accurately trace star formation and accretion onto the SMBHs. We study the impact of gas content, morphology, and mass ratio, focusing on AGN activity and dynamics across a wide range of relevant conditions. We test when the two AGNs are simultaneously detectable, for how long and at which separations. We find that strong dual AGN activity occurs during the late phases of the mergers, at small separations (<1-10kpc) below the resolution limit of most surveys. Much of the SMBH accretion is not simultaneous, limiting the dual AGN fraction detectable through imaging and spectroscopy to a few percent, in agreement with observational samples. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Franzetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

Many microorganisms synthesize a wide range of surface active compounds (SACs), classified according to their molecular weights, properties and localizations. It low molecular weight SACs or biosurfactants lower the surface tension at the air/water interfaces and the interfacial tension at oil/water interfaces, whereas the high molecular weight SACs, also known as bioemulsifiers, are more effective in stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions. Th ability to biosynthesize SACs is, often, coupled with the ability of these microorganisms to grow on immiscible carbon sources, such as hydrocarbons. Different mechanisms are involved in the SACs interactions between microbial cells and immiscible hydrocarbons including: (i) emulsification, (ii) micellarization, (iii) adhesion-deadhesion of microorganisms to and from hydrocarbons and (iv) desorption of contaminants. Ttee naturally occurring phenomena can be exploited by adding bioemulsifiers and biosurfactants into environments where bioremediation/biodegradation rates of organic pollutants is to be enhanced. However, analysis of the current literature show some cases where the complex interactions among SACs, microbial cells, organic substrates and environmental media led to an inhibition of the biodegradation. 7k understandin g of the different physiological roles of SACs in microbial communities is fundamental in order to develop more effective remediation technologies exploiting both synthetic surfactants and microbial SACs. Tiphysio-chemical properties of some microbial SACs have been exploited in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils washing and in mobilisation of soil-bound metal in metal-contaminated soils. Our ability to analyse the microbial diversity in the natural environments will expand our knowledge on microbial SACs with respect to their exploitation for commercial applications and their roles in the physiology of the producing microorganisms. © 2010 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Riva M.A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Antibiotics | Year: 2014

The millennial flight against tuberculosis has been characterized by several defeats. Roman physicians suggested to consumptives better nutrition, sea voyages and change of air, while, during the Middle Ages, 'royal touch' were considered as an effective remedy for scrofula. In the following centuries, phthisis was cured using old herbal preparations and new chemical compounds, mainly aimed at soothing symptoms; in addition, harmful approaches (for example, bleeding and purging) were commonly accepted, according to medical theories of that time. In the second part of the nineteenth century, the discovery of the contagious nature of consumption (Villemin, Koch) addressed physicians and scientists toward often-unsuccessful remedies, such as antiparasitic treatment, immunomodulants, vaccination and serum therapy. In that period only sanatorium regimen-based on aerotherapy, bed rest, better nutrition, sunbathing and moderate physical exercise-appeared to provide first partial successes. In these structures, more invasive approaches were also employed, such as lung collapse surgical interventions (for example, phrenicotomy, thoracoplasty) and artificial pneumothorax. Since the second part of the twentieth century, the industrialization of pharmacotherapy, the development of antimicrobial chemotherapy and the introduction of new antibiotics (streptomycin, isoniazid, para-aminosalicylic acid, ethambutol and pyrazinamide) deeply revolutionized treatment for tuberculosis, allowing to achieve important successes. In this same period, the figure of Piero Sensi (1920-2013) deserves to be recalled for his contribution in the development of rifampicin that played a decisive role in the chemical fight against the white plague. Nowadays, antibiotic resistance is an emerging problem, representing a new challenge for physicians and scientists who sometimes re-proposed old 'historical' approaches. © 2014 Japan Antibiotics Research Association All rights reserved 0021-8820/14.

Riva G.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory ATN P Laboratory | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Mantovani F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Interacting with Computers | Year: 2012

Different neuropsychological studies clearly show that the perception of our body and its surrounding space is not a given fact but it is influenced by the outcome of our actions (both direct and mediated by the use of tools). In this view, a possible starting point for a better understanding of Presence in computer-mediated interactions is the study of mediated action and its effects on our spatial experience. Following a cognitive perspective, the presented framework describes Presence as an intuitive feeling which is the outcome of an experience-based metacognitive judgment that controls our action. This process monitors pre-reflexively our activity by using an embodied intuitive simulation of the intended action developed through practice (implicit learning). When actions are implemented using one or more tools, it is possible to distinguish between two different types of mediated action: first-order (I use the body to control a proximal artifact, e.g. a tennis player striking the ball with the racquet) or second-order (I use the body to control a proximal artifact that controls a different distal one, e.g. a cranemen using a lever to move a mechanical boom to lift materials). These two mediated actions, when produced intuitively, have different effects on our experience of body and space: a successfully learned first-order mediated action produces incorporation - the proximal tool extends the peripersonal space of the subject - while a successfully learned second-order mediated action produces also incarnation - a second peripersonal space centered on the distal tool. © 2012 British Informatics Society Limited. All rights reserved.

Giusti L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Meyer H.B.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

The analytic continuation to an imaginary velocity i ξ of the canonical partition function of a thermal system expressed in a moving frame has a natural implementation in the Euclidean path-integral formulation in terms of shifted boundary conditions. Writing the Boltzmann factor as [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.], the Poincaré invariance underlying a relativistic theory implies a dependence of the free-energy on L 0 and the shift ξ only through the combination [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]. This in turn implies a set of Ward identities, some of which were previously derived by us, among the correlators of the energy-momentum tensor. In the infinite-volume limit they lead to relations among the cumulants of the total energy distribution and those of the momentum, i.e. they connect the energy and the momentum distributions in the canonical ensemble. In finite volume the Poincaré symmetry translates into exact relations among partition functions and correlation functions defined with different sets of (generalized) periodic boundary conditions. They have interesting applications in lattice field theory. In particular, they offer Ward identities to renormalize non-perturbatively the energy-momentum tensor and novel ways to compute thermodynamic potentials. At fixed bare parameters they also provide a simple method to vary the temperature in much smaller steps than with the standard procedure. © 2013 SISSA, Trieste, Italy.

Scopece D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Scopece D.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2013

A Fortran90 program for the determination of the Wulff construction, starting solely from the directions of the bounding facets (defined by the user), is presented. SOWOS stands for solid of Wulff open source, and the program is distributed freely with no charge to the user, being readily available to the community for immediate use. Its simple algorithm (which will be explained) allows the determination of complex solids with hundreds of facets in just seconds on any machine, requiring only a small amount of memory. It is able to determine even the smallest facets and shortest edges and to distinguish almost adjacent vertices. The output files give a complete range of information about the structure: the coordinates of the vertices and the facets common to them, the extension of the facets and bounding vertices, and the length of the edges and extreme vertices. These details enable the reconstruction of the shape in any other (commercial) software for further processing. Visualization is straightforward via the free program gnuplot. A feature for the creation of cubic crystal atomistic models of the resultant solids is included. The program may be a useful tool for crystallography, nanostructures and any other field where crystal facets are involved. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography.

Fabris L.,University of Padua | Fabris L.,Center for Liver Research veR | Strazzabosco M.,Center for Liver Research veR | Strazzabosco M.,Yale University | Strazzabosco M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Seminars in Liver Disease | Year: 2011

In most cholangiopathies, liver diseases of different etiologies in which the biliary epithelium is the primary target in the pathogenic sequence, the central mechanism involves inflammation. Inflammation, characterized by pleomorphic peribiliary infiltrate containing fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes, as well as endothelial cells and pericytes, is associated to the emergence of reactive cholangiocytes. These biliary cells do not possess bile secretory functions, are in contiguity with terminal cholangioles, and are of a less-differentiated phenotype. They have acquired several mesenchymal properties, including motility and ability to secrete a vast number of proinflammatory chemo/cytokines and growth factors along with de novo expression of a rich receptor machinery. These functional properties enable reactive cholangiocytes to establish intimate contacts and to mutually exchange a variety of paracrine signals with the different mesenchymal cell types populating the portal infiltrate. The extensive crosstalk between the epithelial and mesenchymal compartments is the driver of liver repair mechanisms in cholangiopathies, ultimately evolving toward portal fibrosis. Herein, the authors first review the properties of the different cell types involved in their interaction, and then analyze the underlying molecular mechanisms as they relate to liver repair in cholangiopathies. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Cattaneo Z.,University of Milan Bicocca
Vision research | Year: 2013

The ability to identify faces is of critical importance for normal social interactions. Previous evidence suggests that early visual deprivation may impair certain aspects of face recognition. The effects of strabismic amblyopia on face processing have not been investigated previously. In this study, a group of individuals with amblyopia were administered two tasks known to selectively measure face detection based on a Gestalt representation of a face (Mooney faces task) and featural and relational processing of faces (Jane faces task). Our data show that--when relying on their amblyopic eye only - strabismic amblyopes perform as well as normally sighted individuals in face detection and recognition on the basis of their single features. However, they are significantly impaired in discriminating among different faces on the basis of the spacing of their single features (i.e., configural processing of relational information). Our findings are the first to demonstrate that strabismic amblyopia may cause specific deficits in face recognition, and add to previous reports characterizing visual perceptual deficits associated in amblyopia as high-level and not only as low-level processing. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Jeon J.S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Bersini S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Bersini S.,Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory | Gilardi M.,Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

A key aspect of cancer metastases is the tendency for specific cancer cells to home to defined subsets of secondary organs. Despite these known tendencies, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we develop a microfluidic 3D in vitro model to analyze organ-specific human breast cancer cell extravasation into bone- and muscle-mimicking microenvironments through a microvascular network concentrically wrapped with mural cells. Extravasation rates and microvasculature permeabilities were significantly different in the bone-mimicking microenvironment compared with unconditioned or myoblast containing matrices. Blocking breast cancer cell A3 adenosine receptors resulted in higher extravasation rates of cancer cells into themyoblast-containingmatrices compared with untreated cells, suggesting a role for adenosine in reducing extravasation. These results demonstrate the efficacy of our model as a drug screening platform and a promising tool to investigate specific molecular pathways involved in cancer biology, with potential applications to personalized medicine. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Papanicolopulu I.,University of Milan Bicocca
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2011

The use of sonar by military vessels during military exercises may produce acoustic pollution of the marine environment. States have an obligation under international law to reduce and control this form of pollution. Regulation of the use of sonar is rendered more complex by the specific regime applicable to warships, i.e. sovereign immunity. Immunity however does not prevent in all cases action by States other than the flag State, notwithstanding the limitations imposed by Art. 236 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. More importantly, immunity does not prevent the flag State from taking measures to reduce pollution caused by its own warships. Under some environmental treaties, flag States not only may, but have the obligation to adopt measures. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Siani M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We study a fully backreacted holographic model of a four-dimensional superconductor by including a higher curvature interaction in the bulk action. We study how the critical temperature and the field theory condensate vary in this model and conclude that positive higher curvature couplings make the condensation harder. We also compute the conductivity, finding significant deviations from the conjectured universal frequency gap to critical temperature ratio. © 2010 SISSA.

Tomasini D.,Dermatology Section | Berti E.,University of Milan Bicocca
Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia | Year: 2013

Subcutaneous panniculitis like T-cell lymphoma derived from α/β T-cells (SPTCL-AB) belongs to the group of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and it represents less than the 1% of all primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. It affects patients in the 4th decade of life (median age of 36 years) with a female preference (male/female ratio 0.5) with 19% of patients being 20 years or younger. It can be sometimes complicated by a hemophagocytic syndrome, and patients without hemophagocytic syndrome had a significantly better survival (5-year OS: 91% vs. 46%). Histopathologically, SPTCL-AB is characterized by a lobular lymphocytic panniculitis. Tumor cells distribute between individual adipose lobules, proliferating and forming "rim" and "capping" images, conferring a lace-like appearance at scanning magnification. This is not an entirely disease-specific feature, and can also be seen in other lobular lymphocytic panniculitis, either of inflammatory and neoplastic origin. Tumor cells are phenotypically CD45RO+, βF1+ (a monoclonal antibody able to identify the alpha/beta chain of TCR), CD3+, CD4-, CD8+, and express cytotoxic granules (TIA-1, granzyme and perforin), whereas they show variable deletion of T-cell restricted antigens like CD2, CD5 and CD7. The majority of cases show a monoclonal rearrangement for TCR beta and gamma genes and do not show genomic integration of EBV. The present review will focus on histopathologic, immunophenotypical and molecolare data useful to overcome to a specific diagnosis of SPTCL-AB and to differentiate SPTCL-AB from other lymphomas of T-cell or NK/T cell origin and with benign panniculitidis sharing with SPTCL-AB a predominant lobular lymphocytic pattern of involvement of subcutaneous tissue.

Paoletti R.,University of Milan Bicocca
International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics | Year: 2010

A trace formula for Toeplitz operators was proved by Boutet de Monvel and Guillemin in the setting of general Toeplitz structures. Here, we give a local version of this result for a class of Toeplitz operators related to continuous groups of symmetries on quantizable compact symplectic manifolds. The local trace formula involves certain scaling asymptotics along the clean fixed locus of the Hamiltonian flow of the symbol, reminiscent of the scaling asymptotics of the equivariant components of the Szegö kernel along the diagonal. © 2010 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Carlessi L.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Tumori | Fusar Poli E.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Tumori | De Filippis L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Delia D.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Tumori
DNA Repair | Year: 2013

Loss of ATM kinase, a transducer of the DNA damage response and redox sensor, causes the neurodegenerative disorder ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). While a great deal of progress has been made in elucidating the ATM-dependent DNA damage response (DDR) network, a key challenge remains in understanding the selective susceptibility of the nervous system to faulty DDR. Several factors appear implicated in the neurodegenerative phenotype in A-T, but which of them plays a crucial role remains unclear, especially since mouse models of A-T do not fully mirror the respective human syndrome. Therefore, a number of human neural stem cell (hNSC) systems have been developed to get an insight into the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration as consequence of ATM inactivation. Here we review the hNSC systems developed by us an others to model A-T. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Pandey A.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Brovelli S.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Brovelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Viswanatha R.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2012

Nanoscale materials have been investigated extensively for applications in memory and data storage. Recent advances include memories based on metal nanoparticles1, nanoscale phase-change materials2 and molecular switches3. Traditionally, magnetic storage materials make use of magnetic fields to address individual storage elements. However, new materials with magnetic properties addressable via alternative means (for example, electrical or optical) may lead to improved flexibility and storage density and are therefore very desirable. Here, we demonstrate that copper-doped chalcogenide nanocrystals exhibit not only the classic signatures of diluted magnetic semiconductors4 - namely, a strong spin-exchange interaction between paramagnetic Cu2+ dopants and the conduction/valence bands of the host semiconductor - but also show a pronounced and long-lived photoinduced enhancement of their paramagnetic response. Magnetic circular dichroism studies reveal that paramagnetism in these nanocrystals can be controlled and increased by up to 100% when illuminated with above-gap (blue/ultraviolet) light. These materials retain a memory of the photomagnetization for hour-long timescales in the dark, with effects persisting up to ~80 K. Copyright © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Lauritano D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Petruzzi M.,University of Bari
Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal | Year: 2012

Objective: The aim of this prospective controlled study is the comparison between long-term children survived leukaemia and a control group in terms of the decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) and dental anomalies. Study design: Fifty-two long term children survived leukaemia, aged from 8 to 15 years (27 females, 25 males; mean age 11.5 years) were evaluated for the possible effects of the anti-leukaemic therapy on dental development and compared to a control group of 52 healthy children (27 females, 25 males, mean age 11 years). All long-term children who survived were at least 24 months in continuous complete remission. The study of the dental status with a routine oral examination and panoramic radiographs was performed. The DMFT (recorded according to the WHO criteria) and dental anomalies were registered and evaluated. Results: The results of this study evidence that long-term children survived leukaemia, in comparison with the control group, have an higher risk to develop dental caries and show a greater severity of dental anomalies including V-shaped roots, dental agenesis, microdontia, enamel dysplasias. Conclusions: Paediatric patients with haemathological diseases require a special attentions in dental care in addition to the antineoplastic treatment. Therefore, oral hygiene and oral health can be maintained thanks to a close cooperation between the paediatric oncohaematologists, pediatrics dental surgeons and dental hygienists. © Medicina Oral S. L.

Bianchi M.S.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Giribet G.,FCEyN UBA | Leoni M.,FCEyN UBA | Penati S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We compute the expectation value of the 1/2 BPS circular Wilson loop in N=6 superconformal Chern-Simons (ABJM) theory at two loops in perturbation theory. The result shows perfect agreement with the prediction from localization and the proposed framing factor. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Lovaglio P.G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Monzani E.,Health Agency of Niguarda
International Journal of Mental Health Systems | Year: 2011

Background: The purpose of the current study was the psychometric evaluation of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), an instrument developed to meet the necessity of a clinically acceptable outcome scale for routine use in mental illness services.Methods: The study participants included 2,162 outpatients and residential inpatients (rated on the HoNOS on three occasions during the year 2000) with a range of mental illnesses in different diagnostic groups from ten Mental Health Departments, located in the area of Milan (Italy). Principal Component Analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Discriminant Analysis and Partial Credit Rasch Model were used to assess two sources of validity: the internal structure and the relationships with other variables.Results: The results of the 12-item HoNOS demonstrate a significant departure from uni-dimensionality, confirmed by the Rasch analysis (which identified three misfitting items). However, HoNOS scores demonstrate stability and precision of item difficulties over time. Discriminant analysis showed that HoNOS scores have an acceptable level of discriminatory power in predicting the severity of patients' conditions (as represented by setting).Conclusions: It was concluded that the Italian version of the HoNOS does not measure a single, underlying construct of mental health status. The internal structure validity analysis recommends a note of caution to use a summary index of the HoNOS scores, given the presence of multidimensionality and misfit. Nonetheless, the finding that the instrument is more multidimensional than unidimensional does not preclude the use of the HoNOS as a clinically valid tool for routine outcome assessment. In fact, item scores have demonstrated sufficient reliability (over diagnostic groups and care settings) and high precision in time, indicating that HoNOS items can be utilized as valid measurement instruments in longitudinal analyses. © 2011 Lovaglio and Monzani; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2011

1.Urbanisation is an obvious cause of insect extinction, but few studies have investigated insect species loss in urban areas, and the importance of urban environment in conservation biology is controversial. 2.Urban Rome offered a unique possibility to study whether species rarity predisposes a species to extinction, and how urban green spaces are important in insect conservation. On the basis of records collected in more than one century, tenebrionid beetle extinction in Rome was related to a multidimensional characterisation of species rarity based on geographical range, ecological tolerance and local abundance. From these measures, a vulnerability index was derived. All measures of rarity and the vulnerability index were correlated with species decline: rare species disappeared earlier. 3.Identification of ecological correlates of extinction proneness is an important task in conservation biology, yet few studies have addressed this issue for insects. Tenebrionid extinction in urban Rome indicates that vulnerability measures based on rarity traits are strong predictors of species decline. 4.Most of tenebrionids living in urban Rome are not rare and the urban area is an important hold for few species of conservation concern. This suggests that contrary to current practice, insect conservation programmes in an urban area should be more addressed to single species action plans than protection of as many areas as possible. © 2011 The Author. Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Arcangeli A.,University of Florence | Becchetti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Drug Resistance Updates | Year: 2015

By controlling ion fluxes at multiple time scales, ion channels shape rapid cell signals, such as action potential and synaptic transmission, as well as much slower processes, such as mitosis and cell migration. As is currently increasingly recognized, a variety of channel types are involved in cancer hallmarks, and regulate specific stages of neoplastic progression. Long-term in vitro work has established that inhibition of these ion channels impairs the growth of cancer cells. Recently, these studies have been followed up in vivo, hence revealing that ion channels constitute promising pharmacological targets in oncology. The channel proteins can be often accessed from the extracellular milieu, which allows use of lower drug doses and decrease untoward toxicity. However, because of the central physiological roles exerted by ion channels in excitable cells, other types of side effects may arise, the gravest of which is cardiac arrhythmia. A paradigmatic case is offered by Kv11.1 (hERG1) channels. HERG1 blockers attenuate the progression of both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, but may also lead to the lengthening of the electrocardiographic QT interval, thus predisposing the patient to ventricular arrhythmias. These side effects can be avoided by specifically inhibiting the channel isoforms which are highly expressed in certain tumors, such as Kv11.1B and the neonatal forms of voltage-gated Na+ channels. Preclinical studies are also being explored in breast and prostate cancer (targeting voltage-gated Na+ channels), and gliomas (targeting CLC-3). Overall, the possible approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of ion channel targeting in oncology include: (1) the development of specific inhibitors for the channel subtypes expressed in specific tumors; (2) drug delivery into the tumor by using antibodies or nanotechnology-based approaches; (3) combination regimen therapy and (4) blocking specific conformational states of the ion channel. We believe that expanding this relatively neglected field of oncology research might lead to unforeseen therapeutic benefits for cancer patients. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Gordini N.,University of Milan Bicocca
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2014

Bankruptcy prediction is a topic, which affect the economic well being of all countries. Having an accurate company default prediction model, which can pick up on time the signs of financial distress, is vital for all firms, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These firms represent the backbone of the economy of every country. Therefore, they need a prediction model easily adaptable to their characteristics. For this purpose, this study explores and compares the potential of genetic algorithms (GAs) with those of logistic regression (LR) and support vector machine (SVM). GAs are applied to a large sample of 3.100 Italian manufacturing SMEs, three, two and one year prior to bankruptcy. The results indicate that GAs are a very effective and promising instrument in assessing the likelihood of SMEs bankruptcy compared with LR and SVM, especially in reducing Type II misclassification rate. Of particular interest, results show that GAs prediction accuracy rate increases when the model is applied according to size and geographical area, with a marked improvement in the smallest sized firms and in the firms operating in north Italy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Colpi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Colpi M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Space Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Massive binary black holes (105 M⊙–109 M⊙) form at the centre of galaxies that experience a merger episode. They are expected to coalesce into a larger black hole, following the emission of gravitational waves. Coalescing massive binary black holes are among the loudest sources of gravitational waves in the Universe, and the detection of these events is at the frontier of contemporary astrophysics. Understanding the black hole binary formation path and dynamics in galaxy’s mergers is therefore mandatory. A key question poses: during a merger, will the black holes descend over time on closer orbits, form a Keplerian binary and coalesce shortly after? Here we review progress discussing the fate of black holes in different environments: from major mergers of collisionless galaxies to major and minor mergers of gas-rich disc galaxies, from smooth and clumpy circum-nuclear discs to circum-binary discs present on the smallest scales inside galactic nuclei. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2011

Aim To study the importance of ecological and geographical factors in explaining arthropod species composition on islands. Location The Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the central Mediterranean, near Sicily. Methods The influence of island area, age, distance to the mainland, distance to the nearest island and land cover categories on species composition of arthropod groups was analysed using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The use of multiple animal groups in the same archipelago allowed the development of two complementary approaches based on CCA - a 'taxon-focused' approach and an 'island-focused' approach - to elucidate, respectively, how different taxa respond to the same environmental factors, and which factors are mainly responsible for the composition of the faunas in different locations. Results Island area was an important factor in explaining species composition in Chilopoda, Orthoptera and Tenebrionidae. Distance to the mainland was important mainly for Carabidae. Distance to the closest island was important for many groups. By contrast, island age exerted a significant influence only on the species composition of Orthoptera. Various groups were influenced by a combination of broad-leaved forest and natural grassland. Main conclusions The example of the arthropods of the Aeolian Islands indicates that the influence of a given island characteristic on species composition varies among groups, although measures of inter-island isolation were typically more important for taxa than isolation from the mainland source. This suggests that colonization of islands may occur mostly by stepping-stone dispersal. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Abeli T.,University of Pavia | Gentili R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mondoni A.,MUSE | Orsenigo S.,University of Pavia | Rossi G.,University of Pavia
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Populations at the edge of a species' distribution range may differ substantially from central populations. Peripheral populations may have either a high evolutionary potential or be prone to extinction, but the processes driving these outcomes are still unclear. Peripheral plant populations have been the subject of numerous studies and reviews, with many focusing on their genetic characteristics. In this review, we consider the effect of marginality on demographic species-specific traits. Location: World-wide. Methods: We reviewed the literature based on direct comparisons between central and peripheral plant populations. Strict inclusion criteria were applied to avoid biased analysis that may arise as a result of inaccurate boundary considerations or inappropriate comparisons. We inferred from the published data whether a certain trait had a better performance in central or peripheral populations (reliability of the abundant centre hypothesis, ACH). Results: There have not been enough studies on plant performance to allow for generalizations on the effects of marginality on plants. ACH expectations were not met in most cases and specific responses to marginality were observed at the species and population levels. Population and plant size more often met the ACH assumptions, suggesting that most geographically peripheral populations are also ecologically marginal. The availability of resources, the reproductive strategy, the level of ploidy and the ability to cope with interspecific competitors seem to drive the numerous exceptions to the ACH expectations. Main conclusions: The large numbers of exceptions to the ACH expectations suggest that a new comprehensive theory is needed to explain the effects of marginality in plants and to identify any general patterns. From the theoretical point of view, we propose that population history and dynamics should be considered when attempting to explain the processes that occur in peripheral plant populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Noja D.,University of Milan Bicocca
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2014

In this paper, an introduction to the new subject of nonlinear dispersive Hamiltonian equations on graphs is given. The focus is on recently established properties of solutions in the case of the nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation. Special consideration is given to the existence and behaviour of solitary solutions. Two subjects are discussed in some detail concerning the NLS equation on a star graph: the standing waves of the NLS equation on a graph with a ? interaction at the vertex, and the scattering of fast solitons through a Y-junction in the cubic case. The emphasis is on a description of concepts and results and on physical context, without reporting detailed proofs; some perspectives and more ambitious open problems are discussed. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

This paper will show that, while ZT is an appropriate performance index when optimizing the heat conversion rate, it may mislead research in view of applications aiming at large electric power production. This is of special relevance when related to the surge of research in the area of low-dimensionality semiconductors where ZT is increased by lowering the thermal conductivity . It will be shown that, when operating between sources at fixed temperature, the highest power output can be obtained by increasing , not decreasing it, the larger electric power output economically enabling thermoelectric generators for massive electric power production. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Previous studies deduced negative effects of urbanization on insect conservation from decline in species richness with increasing built-up areas. This is the first study that investigates insect extinction determined by urbanization using a long-time temporal data set from hidden literature data and museum collections. Analyses were conducted for four insect groups in urban Rome: butterflies, coprophagous scarabaeids, non-coprophagous scarabaeids and tenebrionids. A reconstruction of extinction trends from 1885 to 1999 indicates impressive declines in species richness, with differences according to the ecological characteristics of each insect group. Results obtained in this study suggest that insect conservation programs should involve a thorough assessment of which species of conservation concern benefit from green spaces in urban areas, and then the identification of important sites and appropriate measures for population management. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

De Blasio F.V.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Blasio F.V.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Geomorphology | Year: 2014

Rock avalanches travelling on glaciers often exhibit effective friction coefficient lower than those on a rocky terrain. After briefly considering some data of rock avalanches on glaciers, the physics of sliding of solid objects on icy surfaces is reviewed, and a model is put forward for the mechanics of rock avalanche sliding on ice accounting for the formation of a natural lubricating layer. It is suggested that at the beginning of the flow of a rock avalanche, friction results from rocky blocks ploughing on ice. As the erosion continues, a gouge of ice particles results, which clogs the interstices between blocks and may partially melt as a consequence of the production of frictional heat. This conceptual model is numerically investigated for a slab travelling on ice. The results show an increase in mobility as a function of slab thickness, travelled length, and the gravity field, in agreement with case studies. The results are useful to interpret the peculiar features of rock avalanches travelling on icy surfaces such as digitations, out-runner blocks, and longitudinal furrows. The lubrication theory for landslides on ice proposed here may provide a framework for understanding landslides on Earth and for future modelling; in addition, it may help elucidate the presence of similar landslide deposits on the surface of Mars. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Spano F.C.,Temple University | Silvestri L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Chemical Physics | Year: 2010

The impact of exciton-vibrational coupling involving fast and slow vibrational modes on absorption and emission in molecular H-aggregates is investigated using a multimode Holstein Hamiltonian. For H-aggregates composed of rigid molecules the radiative decay rate is rigorously zero due to the asymmetry of the lowest energy exciton. Increasing the Huang-Rhys factors of the coupled modes results in an increase of the radiative efficiency through increased sideband emission. Coupling to a spectrally unresolved slow mode leads to an apparent increase in the 0-0 intensity of the vibronic progression of the fast mode, thereby mimicking a distribution of molecular transition frequencies (diagonal disorder). In the intermediate coupling regime, the radiative efficiency of the aggregate exceeds the sum of the fast-mode-only and slow-mode-only radiative efficiencies. The mechanism underlying the synergistic enhancement of the radiative yield is similar to that which causes spectral splitting in the absorption spectrum of quaterthiophene crystals. [L. Silvestri, J. Chem. Phys. 130, 234701 (2009)]. The results here qualitatively account for the robust emission efficiency of hexaphenyl microcrystallites where the slow torsional motion involving the interphenyl dihedral angle in conjunction with the fast ring breathing mode conspire to enhance the quantum yield. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Gattai V.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of International Trade and Economic Development | Year: 2010

This paper analyses the choice of full versus shared ownership of the production affiliate made by Italian multinationals in Asia, based on an entirely new firm-level dataset, constructed by the author. The decision to internalise production, rather than relying on a local partner, is driven by the threat of Dissipation of Intangible Assets, both at a theoretical and an empirical level. In particular, we show that full ownership is more likely to emerge in Asia for Italian firms endowed with better technology and human capital, or belonging to high tech sectors. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Achsel T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Barabino S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Cozzolino M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Carr M.T.,Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS | Carr M.T.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2013

MNDs (motor neuron diseases) form a heterogeneous group of pathologies characterized by the progressivedegeneration of motor neurons. More and more genetic factors associated with MND encode proteinsthat have a function in RNA metabolism, suggesting that disturbed RNA metabolism could be a commonunderlying problem in several, perhaps all, forms of MND. In the present paper we review recentdevelopments showing a functional link between SMN (survival of motor neuron), the causative factorof SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), and FUS (fused in sarcoma), a genetic factor in ALS (amyotrophic lateralsclerosis). SMN is long known to have a crucial role in the biogenesis and localization of the spliceosomalsnRNPs (small nuclear ribonucleoproteins), which are essential assembly modules of the splicing machinery.Now we know that FUS interacts with SMN and pathogenic FUS mutations have a significant effect on snRNPlocalization. Together with other recently published evidence, this finding potentially links ALS pathogenesisto disturbances in the splicing machinery, and implies that pre-mRNA splicing may be the common weakpoint in MND, although other steps in mRNA metabolism could also play a role. Certainly, further comparisonof the RNA metabolism in different MND will greatly help our understanding of the molecular causes ofthese devastating diseases. © 2013 Biochemical Society.

Mancia G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Schumacher H.,Boehringer Ingelheim
Patient Preference and Adherence | Year: 2012

Telmisartan is indicated for the prevention of cardiovascular events in high-risk patients, based on comparable efficacy to the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, ramipril, in the ONgoing Telmisartan Alone and in combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial (ONTARGET ®) trial. However, tolerability must be considered when selecting treatments. This analysis compared the tolerability of telmisartan and ACE inhibitors using data pooled from 12 comparative, randomized studies involving 2564 telmisartan-treated patients and 2144 receiving ACE inhibitors (enalapril, lisinopril, or ramipril). Incidence rates of adverse events for the combined ACE inhibitor treatments and for telmisartan were similar (42.8% vs 43.9%, respectively) as were the rates of serious adverse events (1.8% vs 1.7% for telmisartan, respectively). Patients receiving ACE inhibitors had more cough (8.6% vs 2.6% with telmisartan, P < 0.0001). Results were similar irrespective of age, gender, or ethnicity. The adverse event of angioedema was observed in four patients (0.2%) receiving ACE inhibitors versus none with telmisartan (P = 0.043). There were small, numerical differences in serious adverse events. A total of 107 patients (5.0%) receiving ACE inhibitors and 93 patients (3.6%) receiving telmisartan discontinued treatment because of adverse events (P = 0.021); of these, 32.7% and 5.4%, respectively, were discontinuations due to cough (relative risk reduction of 88% [P < 0.0001] with telmisartan). Telmisartan and ACE inhibitors produced comparable blood pressure reductions at marketed doses. Telmisartan and ACE inhibitors are suitable for the prevention of cardiovascular events in high-risk patients, but telmisartan is better tolerated, particularly with regard to cough. © 2012 Mancia and Schumacher, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

Reissig A.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Gramegna A.,University of Milan | Aliberti S.,University of Milan Bicocca
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2012

CAP may be diagnosed and followed up by lung sonography (LUS), a technique that shows excellent sensitivity and specificity that is at least comparable with that of chest X-ray in two planes. LUS may be performed with any abdomen-sonography device. Therefore, LUS is a readily available diagnostic tool that does not involve radiation exposure and has wide applications especially in situations where X-ray is not available and/or not applicable. An X-ray or CT of the chest should be performed in cases of negative lung sonography and if other differential diagnoses or complications are suspected. © 2012 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Gironi L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gironi L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2010

In the field of Double Beta Decay (DBD) searches, the use of high resolution detectors in which background can be actively discriminated is very appealing. Scintillating bolometers containing a Double Beta Decay emitter can largely fulfill this very interesting possibility. In this paper we present the latest results obtained with CdWO4 and CaMoO4 crystals. Moreover we report, for the first time, a very interesting feature of CaMoO 4 bolometers: the possibility to discriminate β-γ events from those induced by α particles thanks to different thermal pulse shape. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

A challenging issue in designing computational methods for predicting the gene structure into exons and introns from a cluster of transcript (EST, mRNA) sequences, is guaranteeing accuracy as well as efficiency in time and space, when large clusters of more than 20,000 ESTs and genes longer than 1 Mb are processed. Traditionally, the problem has been faced by combining different tools, not specifically designed for this task. We propose a fast method based on ad hoc procedures for solving the problem. Our method combines two ideas: a novel algorithm of proved small time complexity for computing spliced alignments of a transcript against a genome, and an efficient algorithm that exploits the inherent redundancy of information in a cluster of transcripts to select, among all possible factorizations of EST sequences, those allowing to infer splice site junctions that are largely confirmed by the input data. The EST alignment procedure is based on the construction of maximal embeddings, that are sequences obtained from paths of a graph structure, called embedding graph, whose vertices are the maximal pairings of a genomic sequence T and an EST P. The procedure runs in time linear in the length of P and T and in the size of the output.The method was implemented into the PIntron package. PIntron requires as input a genomic sequence or region and a set of EST and/or mRNA sequences. Besides the prediction of the full-length transcript isoforms potentially expressed by the gene, the PIntron package includes a module for the CDS annotation of the predicted transcripts. PIntron, the software tool implementing our methodology, is available at http://www.algolab.eu/PIntron under GNU AGPL. PIntron has been shown to outperform state-of-the-art methods, and to quickly process some critical genes. At the same time, PIntron exhibits high accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) when benchmarked with ENCODE annotations.

Bani M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giussani B.,Avis Provinciale Bergamo
Blood Transfusion | Year: 2010

Background. An overview of European blood donors shows that the distribution of men and women donors is similar in many countries, with Italy being an exception in that women account for only 30% of donors. Gender medicine is a key issue in this context, even though gender studies are very limited in the transfusion field, whether considered broadly or with specific regards to the selection, management and retention of donors. It, therefore, seemed important to compare the presence of women among blood donors in different European countries and examine the roles that gender is reported to play in the donation of blood in order to identify possible implications for communication with and management of the donor. Methods. To determine the proportion of women among donors in European countries, data were collected from annual reports or documents available on the websites of national associations; furthermore, all papers related to giving blood published in the five main journals in the sector (Transfusion, Vox Sanguinis, Transfusion and Apheresis Science, Transfusion Medicine, Blood Transfusion) were considered; about 80 publications were selected and the gender variable was examined. Results. The published studies showed that gender plays key roles in the motivation to give blood (women being more altruistic, men being more individualistic) and in adverse reactions, which was a particularly critical problem leading to fewer women become regular donors. A few aspects specific to the management of donors in Italy also emerged. Discussion. Gender seems to play an important role in the aspects studied and does, therefore, merit further consideration in relation to strategies to recruit donors and the management of critical events during donation. © SIMTI Servizi Srl.

Batani D.,University of Milan Bicocca
Laser and Particle Beams | Year: 2010

The paper is devoted to the study of plasma effects, which are present in laser ablation at relatively high intensity (I≥1012W/cm 2). We start from the classical "two temperature model" of laser ablation ("cold solid approximation") and we extend it to higher intensities where laser-induced heating and laser-induced changes in the background material become relevant. The new model is also compared to experimental results on laser ablation of solid targets from short pulse lasers at high intensities (up to 1014W/cm2). Finally, we consider the effects on laser-ablation of laser-generated fast electrons. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Cucinotta C.S.,College Green Dublin | Cucinotta C.S.,Computational Sciences, LLC | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,Computational Sciences, LLC
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

By means of abinitio simulations we here provide a comprehensive scenario for hydrogen oxidation reactions at the Ni/zirconia anode of solid oxide fuel cells. The simulations have also revealed that in the presence of water chemisorbed at the oxide surface, the active region for H oxidation actually extends beyond the metal/zirconia interface unraveling the role of water partial pressure in the decrease of the polarization resistance observed experimentally. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Arsie A.,University of Toledo | Lorenzoni P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical | Year: 2011

In this paper, we are interested in nontrivial bi-Hamiltonian deformations of the Poisson pencil ωλ = ω2 + λω1 = uδ′ (x - y) + 1/2 u xδ(x - y) + λδ′ (x - y). Deformations are generated by a sequence of vector fields {X2,X3,X4, ...}, where each X k is homogeneous of degree k with respect to a grading induced by rescaling. Constructing recursively the vector fields Xk, one obtains two types of relations involving their unknown coefficients: one set of linear relations and an other one which involves quadratic relations. We prove that the set of linear relations has a geometric meaning: using Miura-quasitriviality, the set of linear relations expresses the tangency of the vector fields X k to the symplectic leaves of ω1 and this tangency condition is equivalent to the exactness of the pencil ωλ. Moreover, extending the results of Lorenzoni P (2002 J. Geom. Phys. 44 33175), we construct the nontrivial deformations of the Poisson pencil ωλ, up to the eighth order in the deformation parameter, showing therefore that deformations are unobstructed and that both Poisson structures are polynomial in the derivatives of u up to that order. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Bollini L.,University of Milan Bicocca
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2016

The paper presents an experimental project of a digital mobile and geobased signage system applied to a public space—the University of Milano-Bicocca Campus—and to a digital information tool aimed to guide the choices of students in choosing their university career and to support them along the experience (called the Students’ Guide). The project approaches all the information, services, tasks and the interaction both with the external—environmental findability and orientation supported by GPS and geobased data—and internal spaces —localization and information inside the building supported by Beacon technology— according to a digital ecosystem design approach. The app MoBi Moving in Bicocca. Digital Pollicino (Moving in Bicocca. Digital Tom Thumb) has been designed, prototyped, tested, revised and validated thorough the user-centered approach, co-design and qualitative research methods. Although applied to a specific case study—the whole campus and the building U6 of Milano-Bicocca University—the research approach and the systemic perspective are intended to be replicable as a design frame-work. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.

Fattorini S.,University of The Azores | Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Borges P.A.V.,University of The Azores
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2012

The species-area relationship (SAR), i.e. the increase in species number with area, has been repeatedly used to predict species extinction, at both local and global scales, with habitat reduction. He and Hubbell (Nature, 2011; 473, 368-371), however, argued that the function that relates species loss with decreasing habitat area cannot be simply obtained reversing the species-area accumulation curve. Using a statistically more appropriate curve based on endemics (EAR), they concluded that the SAR overestimates species extinction. Although we agree that SARs and EARs have different shapes, this does not imply that SARs overestimate species extinction. Empirical evidence suggests that SARs do not overestimate, but underestimate species extinction by habitat loss and fragmentation. We discuss various examples taken from recent literature to show that SARs underestimate species extinction. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We present a next-to-leading order calculation of Higgs boson production in vector-boson fusion processes interfaced to shower Monte Carlo programs, implemented according to the POWHEG method. © 2010 SISSA.

Forcella D.,Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We construct three dimensional N = 1 Chern-Simons theories living on M2 branes probing Spin(7) cones. We consider Spin(7) manifolds obtained as quotients of Calabi-Yau four-folds by an anti-holomorphic involution, following a construction by Joyce. The corresponding Chern-Simons theories can be obtained from N = 2 theories by an orientifolding procedure. These theories are holographically dual to M theory solutions AdS 4 × H, where the weak G 2 manifold H is the base of the Spin(7) cone.

Veronese G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Health Psychology | Year: 2013

We carried out qualitative research with 61 health professionals and volunteer workers to explore their perceptions of their own and their clients' well-being in a context of political violence. We applied content analysis to identify the themes emerging from 8 focus group and 11 individual interviews. Participants were found to define the concept of well-being in terms of three key areas: security, participation, and development. Palestinian health providers see promotion of economic development and professional growth, involvement in political and social life, and resistance to the occupation as factors required to enhance well-being and quality of life for themselves and their clients. © The Author(s) 2012.

Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2013

Recent analyses of internet search volume hypothesized a decline of public interest toward themes related to environment, biodiversity conservation and fishery. These analyses were based on Google Trends, which is a measure of how frequently a term is searched in Google, in proportion to the total of searches performed. Google Trends is a measure of relative search, and this may make difficult assessing temporal trends. I evaluated whether relative declines in internet search volumes represent genuine decline in interest toward environmental-related themes, by comparing trends of terms representing various themes, including environment, computer science, other disciplines (astrophysics) and leisure. Similar values of relative decline were detected for environmental terms, for computer science terms, and for other scientific disciplines. Conversely, an increase was observed for leisure related terms. This suggests that interest toward the environment is not truly decreasing. The apparent decline of environmental and scientific terms is most likely caused by the increasing use of internet for aims unrelated to science and technology, such as leisure. Internet search tools are a powerful source of information, but users should be aware of the complexity of analysing their data: using unrelated terms as benchmark may help to identify genuine trends. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Norini G.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Norini G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Acocella V.,Third University of Rome
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2011

Mount Etna is characterized by significant flank instability, whose triggering factors are still a matter of debate. We use analog models to investigate the role of different factors. In the models, a cone and base of granular material simulate the volcanic edifice and its basement. The asymmetric geometry of the basement simulates the topographic gradient around the volcano. Injections of silicone (sets A and B) and low-viscosity vegetable oil (set C) simulate the pressurization of plutonic complex, deep reservoirs, and the emplacement of dikes, respectively. Other experiments (set D) reproduce regional extensional tectonics in the last 105 years, within layers with different cohesion simulating strength differences in the basement. Laser scanner and control points allow the tracking of surface deformation with submillimeter precision. The asymmetric topography enhances flank instability on the side with the weakest confinement (i.e., seaside), providing the preparing factor for instability. In sets A and B, any type of pressurized reservoir enhances, up to 10 times, the amount of flank instability toward the seaside with respect to the other flanks of the volcano. In set C, dike emplacement enhances seaside flank instability up to 8 times. Regional tectonics and crustal layering in set D enhance flank instability up to 2 and 1.3 times, respectively. Considering the duration and frequency of the simulated processes in nature, we propose a semiquantitative evaluation and hierarchy of the factors controlling flank instability at Etna. Magmatic activity (point-like source inflation and dike emplacement) provides the most important triggering factor. Extensional tectonics, in the last 105 years, and crustal layering are more than 10 times less effective. This study shows the importance of differential buttressing at the volcano base for flank instability. This condition is an important indication to expect asymmetric activity in any volcano (flank eruptions and deformation). Copyright © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Colace F.,University of Salerno | De Santo M.,University of Salerno | Greco L.,University of Salerno | Napoletano P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2014

Supervised text classifiers need to learn from many labeled examples to achieve a high accuracy. However, in a real context, sufficient labeled examples are not always available because human labeling is enormously time-consuming. For this reason, there has been recent interest in methods that are capable of obtaining a high accuracy when the size of the training set is small. In this paper we introduce a new single label text classification method that performs better than baseline methods when the number of labeled examples is small. Differently from most of the existing methods that usually make use of a vector of features composed of weighted words, the proposed approach uses a structured vector of features, composed of weighted pairs of words. The proposed vector of features is automatically learned, given a set of documents, using a global method for term extraction based on the Latent Dirichlet Allocation implemented as the Probabilistic Topic Model. Experiments performed using a small percentage of the original training set (about 1%) confirmed our theories. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Utili S.,University of Oxford | Crosta G.B.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface | Year: 2011

The evolution of slopes subjected to weathering has been modeled by assuming Mohr-Coulomb behavior and by using a numerical approach based on the discrete element method (DEM). According to this method, soil and/or rock are represented by an assembly of bonded particles. Particle bonds are subject to progressive weakening, and so the material weathering and removal processes are modeled. Slope instability and material movement follow the decrease of material strength in space and time with the only assumption concerning the weathering distribution within the slope. First, the case of cliffs subject to strong erosion (weathering-limited conditions) and uniform weathering was studied to compare the results of the DEM approach with the limit analysis approach. Second, transport-limited slopes subject to nonuniform slope weathering were studied. Results have been compared with experimental data and other geomorphologic models from the literature (Fisher-Lehmann and Bakker-Le Heux). The flux of material from the slope is modeled assuming degradation both in space and time. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Borgoni R.,University of Milan Bicocca
Environmental Modeling and Assessment | Year: 2011

Indoor radon concentrations depend on building characteristics such as building materials, ventilation and water supply. In this paper, a quantile regression approach is proposed to evaluate the effect of some buildings factors potentially influencing indoor radon concentration. Many of the considered factors, such as soil connection, age of construction and being a single family building, are found to have a statistically significant effect; however, this is far from being constant across the entire support of indoor radon concentration. A potential impact due to geological and geo-physical reasons is also found using the altitude of building locations as a surrogate variable. In addition, a clear local spatial effect is detected by a spatial autoregression approach. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Turati M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics Part B | Year: 2016

Levetiracetam is a relatively novel antiepileptic drug used for the treatment of partial and generalized seizures in adult and children. Several animal studies describe a possible drug adverse effect on skeletal growth and metabolism. We present a case report of a 10-year-old female child who underwent a prolonged 7-year treatment with levetiracetam for sporadic secondary convulsions secondary to enterovirus encephalitis at the age of 15 months. This patient developed an osteochondritis dissecans lesion (OCD) of the talar head well treated conservatively. Only a few cases have been described of this rare type of OCD. We hypothesize a possible association between levetiracetam therapy and OCD development, suggesting the importance of long-term control of bone growth in levetiracetam-treated pediatric populations. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ceccon M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Oncogene | Year: 2015

Most of the anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) cases carry the t(2;5; p23;q35) that produces the fusion protein NPM-ALK (nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase). NPM-ALK-deregulated kinase activity drives several pathways that support malignant transformation of lymphoma cells. We found that in ALK-rearranged ALCL cell lines, NPM-ALK was distributed in equal amounts between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Only the cytoplasmic portion was catalytically active in both cell lines and primary ALCL, whereas the nuclear portion was inactive because of heterodimerization with NPM1. Thus, about 50% of the NPM-ALK is not active and sequestered as NPM-ALK/NPM1 heterodimers in the nucleus. Overexpression or relocalization of NPM-ALK to the cytoplasm by NPM genetic knockout or knockdown caused ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2) increased phosphorylation and cell death through the engagement of an ATM/Chk2- and γH2AX (phosphorylated H2A histone family member X)-mediated DNA-damage response. Remarkably, human NPM-ALK-amplified cell lines resistant to ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) underwent apoptosis upon drug withdrawal as a consequence of ERK1/2 hyperactivation. Altogether, these findings indicate that an excess of NPM-ALK activation and signaling induces apoptosis via oncogenic stress responses. A ‘drug holiday’ where the ALK TKI treatment is suspended could represent a therapeutic option in cells that become resistant by NPM-ALK amplification.Oncogene advance online publication, 14 December 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.456. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Utili S.,University of Oxford | Crosta G.B.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface | Year: 2011

Retrogressive landsliding evolution of natural slopes subjected to weathering has been modeled by assuming Mohr-Coulomb material behavior and by using an analytical method. The case of weathering-limited slope conditions, with complete erosion of the accumulated debris, has been modeled. The limit analysis upper-bound method is used to study slope instability induced by a homogeneous decrease of material strength in space and time. The only assumption required in the model concerns the degree of weathering within the slope, and for this we assumed and tested different weathering laws. By means of this method, the evolution of cliffs subject to strong weathering conditions (weathering-limited conditions) was predicted. The discrete succession of failures taking place was modeled taking into account the geometry assumed by slopes as a consequence of previous mass movements. The results have been compared with published data from long-term slope monitoring and show a good match between experimental observations and analytical predictions. The retrogressive evolution of the slope occurs with decreasing size of the unstable blocks, following a logarithmic volume-frequency relationship. A nonlinear relationship is found between mass flux and average slope gradient. A set of normalized solutions is presented both by nomograms and tables for different values of slope angle, cohesion, and internal friction angle. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Levy P.,University Grenoble alpes | Levy P.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Ryan S.,St Vincents University Hospital | Ryan S.,University College Dublin | And 2 more authors.
European Respiratory Review | Year: 2013

Sleep apnoea is associated with significant daytime functioning impairment and marked cardiovascular morbidities, leading to a significant increase in mortality. Sympathetic activation, oxidative stress and systemic inflammation have been shown to be the main intermediary mechanisms associated with sleep apnoea and intermittent hypoxia. There are now convincing data regarding the association between hypertension, arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart failure, increased cardiovascular mortality and sleep apnoea. This has been evidenced in sleep apnoea patients and is supported by experimental data obtained in intermittent hypoxia. Whether treating sleep apnoea enables chronic cardiovascular consequences to be reversed is not fully established as regard coronary heart disease, arrhythmias and heart failure. In this late condition, complex bidirectional relationships occur, with obstructive sleep apnoea being a risk factor for heart failure whilst central sleep apnoea mainly appears as a consequence of heart failure. It remains to be established in adequately designed studies, i.e. large randomised controlled trials, whether treating sleep apnoea can improve heart failure morbidity and mortality. © ERS 2013.

Giordano L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ferrari A.M.,University of Turin
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

The dissociation of water dimers at the MgO(100) surface and MgO ultrathin films on Ag(100) has been studied by means of pure DFT and hybrid functional calculations. We demonstrate that at the intermediate regime between the isolated molecule and the water monolayer, barrierless dissociation of water occurs when assisted by another water molecule. The metal support has been shown to crucially influence the overall process. Indeed, on the metal-supported ultrathin film, the dissociated form is noticeably stabilized, at variance with the MgO(100) surface, where the dissociated fragments can easily recombine. The stabilization of the dissociated charged fragments arises from the polarization of the electron density at the oxide-metal interface and from the polaronic distortion of the oxide film. The presence of the metallic substrate strongly weakens the interaction after the dissociation by changing the nature of the newly formed ion pair, with possible effects on the dynamics and the reactivity of water fragments on the oxide ultrathin film. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Bredenkamp C.,The World Bank | Mendola M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gragnolati M.,The World Bank
Health Policy and Planning | Year: 2011

This paper investigates the effect of health-related expenditure on household welfare in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, all of which have undertaken major health sector reform. Two methodologies are used: (i) the incidence and intensity of " catastrophic" health care expenditure, and (ii) the effect of out-of-pocket payments on poverty headcount and poverty gap measures. Data are drawn from the most recent Living Standards and Measurement Surveys, 2000-05. While our analyses are not without their limitations, and the lack of comparability across instruments precludes a direct comparison across countries, there is no doubt that health expenditure contributes substantially to the impoverishment of households - increasing the incidence of poverty and pushing poor households into deeper poverty - in each country. Both the catastrophic and the impoverishing effects of health expenditures are particularly severe in Albania and Kosovo. Transportation expenditure accounts for a large share of total health expenditures, especially in Albania and Serbia. Informal payments are substantial in all countries, and are particularly high in Albania. As countries in the sub-region continue the process of health system reform, an important policy question should be how to protect vulnerable groups from the catastrophic and impoverishing effects of health care expenditure. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2010; all rights reserved.

Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2010

We study from first principles the optical properties of the phase change materials Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), GeTe and Sb 2Te3 in the crystalline phase and in realistic models of the amorphous phase generated by quenching from the melt in ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The calculations reproduce the strong optical contrast between the crystalline and amorphous phases measured experimentally and exploited in optical data storage. It is demonstrated that the optical contrast is due to a change in the optical matrix elements across the phase change in all the compounds. It is concluded that the reduction of the optical matrix elements in the amorphous phases is due to angular disorder in p-bonding which dominates the amorphous network in agreement with previous proposals (Huang and Robertson 2010 Phys. Rev. B 81 081204) based on calculations on crystalline models. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Duan Y.,University of Milan Bicocca
Proceedings - 13th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking, and Parallel/Distributed Computing, SNPD 2012 | Year: 2012

Modeling of the value transfer of service based business systems is often based on the value normalization in terms of the value of money. We identify that the normalization is neither applicable for not normalizable properties of services of XaaS/EaaS (everything as a service) nor contributing to modeling the business nature of service based systems. We explore from a knowledge engineering approach the foundation of value modeling factors including "unit of account" and "value normalization". We propose a holistic formula for assisting tradeoffs on the modeling factors. We identify possible not normalizable situations and introduce a service value broker mode as solution initiatives with demonstrative cases. © 2012 IEEE.

Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hosseini S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Veliz-Osorio A.,University of Witwatersrand
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

In order to compute the entanglement entropy for a given region in a theory with an Einstein gravity dual, the Ryu-Takayanagi prescription tells us that we must compute the area of an extremal surface anchored to the entangling region. However, if the dual gravity theory receives higher-curvature corrections we are compelled to extremize a quantity which is no longer given by the area but a higher-derivative functional. Hence, in order to find the extremal surface that yields the correct value of the entanglement entropy, we must include an additional boundary condition to the problem. We claim that the additional condition can be fixed by demanding that the relationship between the bulk depth and the size of the entangling region is the one induced by geodesics, we call this the free-kick condition. We implement this prescription in the computation of the entanglement entropy of the hairy black hole in new massive gravity, and find a perfect agreement with conformal field theory expectations. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Caravati S.,ETH Zurich | Bernasconi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parrinello M.,ETH Zurich
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Based on ab initio molecular-dynamics simulations, we generated models of liquid and amorphous Sb2 Te3 of interest for applications as phase change material in optical and electronic data storage. The local geometries of Sb and Te atoms in a -Sb2 Te3 are similar to that found in the extensively studied Ge2 Sb2 Te5 and GeTe phase change materials already exploited for nonvolatile memory applications. Analysis of the vibrational properties and electronic structure of a -Sb2 Te3 is presented and compared to the crystalline counterparts. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Jezo T.,University of Milan Bicocca | Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: In this work we present a new subtraction method for next-to-leading order calculations that is particularly convenient even when narrow resonances are present. The method is particularly suitable for the implementation of next-to-leading order calculations matched to parton shower generators. It allows at the same time for the inclusion of all finite width effects, including interferences, and for a consistent treatment of resonances in the shower approach, preserving the mass of resonances near their peak. We implement our method, in a fully general and automatic way, within the POWHEG BOX framework, and illustrate it using as a test case the process of pp → μ+νμjbj, that is dominated by t-channel single top production. © 2015, The Author(s).

Hristov K.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hristov K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Toldo C.,University Utrecht | Vandoren S.,University Utrecht
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We determine the thermodynamic properties of a class of spherically symmetric and static black holes in AdS4 with magnetic charges and scalar hair. These black holes are solutions in four-dimensional N=2 gauged supergravity that can arise from 11-dimensional supergravity compactified on S7. At zero temperature, they preserve supersymmetry and hence are stable. At nonzero temperatures, we explore in detail the canonical ensemble and stability of solutions and find a first-order phase transition between small and large hairy black holes. The transition emerges as a liquid-gas phase transition in the dual three-dimensional field theory on R×S2 with magnetic flux through S2. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Capitani G.C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Stixrude L.,University College London
American Mineralogist | Year: 2012

The structure of antigorite (m = 17) has been studied by density functional theory from 0 to 30 GPa. The fourth-order Birch-Murnaghan equation of state fit of the thermally corrected LDA results yields an equilibrium volume (V 0 = 2853.13 Å 3), bulk modulus (K 0 = 64.6 GPa), and its pressure derivative (K′ 0 = 6.94) in good agreement with experimental results. Two changes in compression mechanism occur at 6.1 and 20.5 GPa, individuating three pressure ranges: (1) in the low-pressure range, the antigorite wave flattens and the interlayer thickness decreases rapidly; (2) in the intermediate-pressure range, in-plane rotations of tetrahedra (ditrigonalization) and then wave-bending become the dominant compression mechanisms; (3) in the extreme-pressure range, the mechanism of wave-bending becomes prevalent. The first change reveals the origin of softening found experimentally near 6 GPa: the change in compression mechanism occurs after the minimal mismatch between T- and O-sheets is achieved and is accompanied by an apparent symmetry breaking: accidental degeneracies of structural parameters between short and long halfwaves are lifted, including T-sheet thicknesses and Si-O bond lengths. In the extreme-pressure range, Si-O-Si angles decrease below 122°, which may be the origin of amorphization found experimentally at similar pressure.

Pievani T.,University of Milan Bicocca
Annals of Geophysics | Year: 2012

This article explores the role of philosophy of the Earth sciences in the foundation of the principles of 'geoethics'. In particular, the focus is on two different examples of philosophical analysis in the field of geosciences: the first is the trial against the Italian National Commission for Forecasting and Predicting Great Risks, which was charged with negligence in communication and prediction on the occasion of the earthquake that almost destroyed the city of L'Aquila on the night of April 6, 2009; the second is related to the scientific and theoretical consequences of the updated geographical scenario of the human global populating of the Earth, based on archeological, paleontological and genetic data. Our concept of 'scientific prediction' in the case of geophysical phenomena and the new ways to see human evolution that depend on geophysical factors have ethical and philosophical implications that are crucial for the foundations of geoethics. The tentative conclusion is that we need an evolutionary sense of belonging to our Planet, and a concept of 'natural' phenomena and 'natural' disasters that should not be an alibi for the underestimation of our political and ethical responsibilities. © 2012 by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia. All rights reserved.

Romano A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim The patterns and causes of ecogeographical body size variation in ectotherms remain controversial. In amphibians, recent genetic studies are leading to the discovery of many cryptic species. We analysed the relationships between body size and climate for a salamander (Salamandrina) that was recently separated into two sibling species, to evaluate how ignoring interspecific and intraspecific genetic structure may affect the conclusions of ecogeographical studies. We also considered the potential effects of factors acting at a local scale.Location Thirty-four populations covering the whole range of Salamandrina, which is endemic to peninsular Italy.Methods We pooled original data and data from the literature to obtain information on the snout-vent length (SVL) of 3850 Salamandrina females; we obtained high-resolution climatic data from the sampled localities. We used an information-theoretic approach to evaluate the roles of climate, genetic features (mitochondrial haplogroup identity) and characteristics of aquatic oviposition sites. We repeated our analyses three times: in the first analysis we ignored genetic data on intraspecific and interspecific variation; in the second one we considered the recently discovered differences between the two sibling species; in the third one we included information on intraspecific genetic structure within Salamandrina perspicillata (for Salamandrina terdigitata the sample size was too small to perform intraspecific analyses).Results If genetic information was ignored, our analysis suggested the existence of a relationship between SVL and climatic variables, with populations of large body size in areas with high precipitation and high thermal range. If species identity was included in the analysis, the role of climatic features was much weaker. When intraspecific genetic differences were also considered, no climatic feature had an effect. In all analyses, local factors were important and explained a large proportion of the variation; populations spawning in still water had a larger body size.Main conclusions An imperfect knowledge of species boundaries, or overlooking the intraspecific genetic variation can strongly affect the results of analyses of body size variation. Furthermore, local factors can be more important than the large-scale parameters traditionally considered, particularly in species with a small range. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Bertsimas D.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Lulli G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Odoni A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Operations Research | Year: 2011

This paper presents a new integer programming (IP) model for large-scale instances of the air traffic flow management (ATFM) problem. The model covers all the phases of each flight-i.e., takeoff, en route cruising, and landing-and solves for an optimal combination of flow management actions, including ground-holding, rerouting, speed control, and airborne holding on a flight-by-flight basis. A distinguishing feature of the model is that it allows for rerouting decisions. This is achieved through the imposition of sets of "local" conditions that make it possible to represent rerouting options in a compact way by only introducing some new constraints. Moreover, three classes of valid inequalities are incorporated into the model to strengthen the polyhedral structure of the underlying relaxation. Computational times are short and reasonable for practical application on problem instances of size comparable to that of the entire U.S. air traffic management system. Thus, the proposed model has the potential of serving as the main engine for the preliminary identification, on a daily basis, of promising air traffic flow management interventions on a national scale in the United States or on a continental scale in Europe. © 2011 INFORMS.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim: To investigate the importance of various island characteristics in determining spatial patterns of variations in beta diversity for various animal groups. Location: Analyses are presented for 10 animal groups living on the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the central Mediterranean, near Sicily. Methods: Three hypotheses were formulated to explain patterns of beta diversity: the target-area-distance effect, stepping stone dispersal and island age. Matrices of inter-island dissimilarities were constructed under each hypothesis and correlated with matrices of faunal dissimilarities using Mantel tests. For the 'target-area-distance effect' hypothesis, inter-island dissimilarities were calculated using island sizes and distances to nearest mainland areas. For the 'stepping stone dispersal' hypothesis, inter-island distances were measured. Finally, for the 'island age' hypothesis, inter-island dissimilarities were calculated on the basis of the geological age of the islands. Cluster analysis was used to investigate inter-island faunal relationships. Results: Support for a target-area-distance effect was found only for birds. For these highly mobile animals, inter-island distances had no significant effects on beta diversity. Birds are known to colonize islands by crossing large sea barriers and thus they can easily reach the Aeolian Islands, which are close to source areas (notably Sicily). Inter-island distances had a significant role in determining patterns of beta diversity in most invertebrates. For Mollusca, Opiliones, Chilopoda, Heteroptera, coprophagous Scarabaeoidea, and Tenebrionidae, even relatively short distances preclude invertebrates from colonizing an island regularly from the mainland, and most colonization probably results from inter-island faunal exchanges. Island age was proved to be important only for orthopterans. Main conclusions: The origin of most of the Aeolian invertebrate fauna is quite recent, and species appear to have established on the islands predominantly by stepping stone dispersal. Birds, which are highly mobile organisms, follow more direct mainland-island dynamics. As further studies on other islands become available, comparative analyses will confirm whether the factors influencing variations in beta diversity in this study and their relationships with species dispersal ability are consistent across scales and geographical context. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010

The conservation status of invertebrates is usually lesser known than that of vertebrates, and strategies to identify biotopes to preserve invertebrate diversity are typically based on a single surrogate taxon, or even on the use of vertebrates as surrogates. Aim of this research is to illustrate a method for biotope prioritisation that can be easily adapted to different animal groups and geographical contexts. A two-step protocol for biotope prioritisation is proposed on the basis of a multidimensional characterisation of species vulnerability. Firstly, species vulnerability is estimated from rarity measures which include geographical range, abundance and biotope specialisation. Then, these values of vulnerability are used to rank biotopes. The method was applied here to the tenebrionid beetles, the butterflies, the birds and the mammals of the Central Apennines, a montane area of high conservation concern for South Europe. This study provides evidence for the importance of including insects in conservation decisions, because vertebrates are poor surrogates for insects. Conservation efforts in the reserves included in the study area are mostly focused on vertebrates, for which woodlands are considered particularly important. However high altitude open biotopes are crucial for both tenebrionids and butterflies, and preservation of such kind of biotopes would be beneficial also for vertebrates. The approach applied here demonstrates that (1) vertebrates are poor surrogates for insects, and (2) measures of species rarity, typically used in vertebrate conservation, can be obtained also for insects, for which a veritable amount of data are hidden in specialised literature and museum collections. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Melchiorre C.,Uppsala University | Frattini P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Climatic Change | Year: 2012

We analyse slope stability conditions for shallow landslides under an extreme precipitation regime with regard to present and future scenarios, in order to first study the effect of changes in precipitation on stability conditions, considering uncertainty in the model parameters, and second to evaluate which factors contribute the most to model output and uncertainty. We used a coupled hydrological-stability model to study the hydrological control on shallow landslides in different precipitation regimes, with reference to the case study of Otta, located in central east Norway. We included a wide range of climatic settings, taking intensity, duration of the extreme events and two different antecedent precipitation conditions into account. Eleven future scenarios were determined using results of down-scaled meteorological models. Considering the uncertainty in the soil parameters, we used the Monte Carlo approach and probability of failure resulting from 5,000 trials was calculated for each precipitation scenario. In unstable areas the probabilities of failure at present and future conditions were compared using a bootstrapping method. Sensitivity analysis was carried out to understand how variations in input parameters influence the output of the selected model. The results show changes in the modelled stability conditions only if the effect of antecedent precipitation is not taken into account. The uncertainties in the predicted extreme precipitation events, soil parameters, and antecedent precipitation conditions do not allow any accurate estimation of changes in stability conditions for shallow landslides. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Malaspina N.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tumiati S.,University of Milan
European Journal of Mineralogy | Year: 2012

C-O-H fluids are released by dehydration, partial melting and/or decarbonation of the slab and transferred to the mantle, where they interact with the surrounding rocks, prompting the growth of carbonates, hydrous minerals and C polymorphs. In the pure C-O-H system, C-saturated fluid speciation is a function of the oxygen chemical potential. Therefore, in natural systems, the fluid speciation can be imposed by the redox state of the rock-forming phases. Alternatively, C-O-H fluids may control the bulk oxidation state of the rock system by redox reactions with the mineral phases. We selected three case studies of garnet-bearing ultramafic rocks (Ulten zone, Italy; Sulu, China; Bardane, Norway), which record metasomatic processes driven by C-O-H fluids at the interface between a subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge. All these rocks contain carbonates (dolomite-only at P< 1.9 GPa at 900 °C, magnesite-only at P > 2.4 GPa at 900 °C, dolomite + magnesite in between) and hydrous phases (amphibole, phlogopite) equilibrated at some stages in the garnet stability field. The fO2 values, estimated by analysing the Fe3+ content (skiagite mole fraction) in garnet, indicate that the Ulten and Sulu peridotites record high oxygen fugacities (FMQ to FMQ+2) and a retrograde path with decreasing P and T. The fO2 values obtained for the Bardane garnet websterites, which record a prograde path with increasing T and P, are up to -2 log units lower than the FMQ. When combined with data for subduction-zone systems (arc lavas and their mantle sources), the studied ultramafic rocks define a trend of decreasing fO2 with increasing pressure. The Bardane websterites contain C-polymorphs in polyphase inclusions, which precipitated from entrapped metasomatic fluids at ultrahigh pressures. The calculated C-O-H fluid phase in equilibrium with the solid phases consists of mixtures of H2O and CO2. Semi-quantitative estimates for the Ulten and Sulu peridotites, in which C-polymorphs have not been found, and petrographic constraints for the Ulten peridotites indicate that the C-O-H component of the fluid could consist of H2O+CO2. © 2012 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, D-70176 Stuttgart.

Bossard G.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We define a new partially solvable system of equations that parametrises solutions to six-dimensional N = (1, 0) ungauged supergravity coupled to tensor multiplets. We obtain this system by applying a series of dualities on the known floating brane system, imposing that it allows for the JMaRT solution. We construct an explicit multi-centre solution generalising the JMaRT solution, with an arbitrary number of additional BPS centres on a line. We describe explicitly the embedding of the JMaRT solution in this system in five dimensions. © 2015, The Author(s).

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

Analytic formulas reproducing the warm dark matter (WDM) cosmological spectra are obtained for WDM particles decoupling in and out of thermal equilibrium; these formulas provide the initial data for WDM nonlinear structure formation. We compute and analyze the corresponding WDM overdensities and compare them to the cold dark matter (CDM) case. We consider the ratio of the WDM to CDM spectrum and the ratio of the WDM to CDM overdensities: They turn out to be self-similar functions of k/k1/2 and R/R1/2, respectively, with k1/2 and R1/2 being the wavenumber and length where the WDM spectrum and overdensity are one-half of the respective CDM magnitudes. Both k1/2 and R1/2 show scaling as powers of the WDM particle mass m, while the self-similar functions are independent of m. The WDM spectrum sharply decreases around k1/2 with respect to the CDM spectrum, while the WDM overdensity slowly decreases around R1/2 for decreasing scales with respect to the CDM one. The nonlinear regions where WDM structure formation takes place are shown and compared to those in CDM: The WDM nonlinear structures start to form later than in CDM, and as a general trend, decreasing the DM particle mass delays the onset of the nonlinear regime. The nonlinear regime starts earlier for smaller objects than for larger ones; smaller objects can form earlier both in WDM and CDM. We compute and analyze the differential mass function dN/dM for WDM at redshift z in the Press-Schechter approach. The WDM suppression effect of small scale structure increases with the redshift z. Our results for dN/dM are useful to be contrasted with observations, in particular, for 4â‰zâ‰12. We perform all of these studies for the most popular WDM particle physics models. Contrasting them to observations should give the value of the WDM particle mass within the keV scale. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Borello M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Finite Fields and their Applications | Year: 2014

The existence of an extremal self-dual binary linear code C of length 72 is a long-standing open problem. We continue the investigation of its automorphism group: looking at the combination of the subcodes fixed by different involutions and doing a computer calculation with Magma, we prove that Aut(C) is not isomorphic to the elementary abelian group of order 8. Combining this with the known results in the literature one obtains that Aut(C) has order at most 5. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements | Year: 2010

We review the key features of POWHEG, a method for interfacing parton-shower Monte Carlo generators to fixed next-to-leading order QCD computations. We describe a recently introduced framework, the POWHEG BOX, that allows the automatic POWHEG implementation of any given NLO calculation. We present a few results for Higgs boson production via vector boson fusion and Z+1 jet production, both processes available in the POWHEG BOX. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Grasso M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Environmental Politics | Year: 2013

Carbon emissions threaten the stability of climate systems and change climate dynamics in ways that inflict harm on present and future generations. Therefore, the ultimate moral crux of climate change involves harm avoidance and prevention. Moral cognitive neuroscience, and in particular the dual-process theory, indicates that up, close and personal harm triggers deontological moral reasoning, whereas harm originating from impersonal moral violations, like those produced by climate impacts, prompts consequentialist moral reasoning. Accordingly, climate ethics should be based on consequentialist approaches. Moral cognitive neuroscientific research indicates, in fact, that consequentialism is closer to the moral processes and judgements human beings normally use when faced with issues like climate change that involve impersonal notions of harm. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010

Fire is a frequent event in Mediterranean ecosystems, yet the effects on animal diversity are poorly understood. In this paper, the short-term effects of a severe fire on the tenebrionid beetles in a planted pinewood in Central Italy are investigated in comparison with those recorded in other animal communities, namely collembolans, isopods and birds. The use of statistical tests to compare values of dominance, diversity and equitability (measured with various indexes), between burned and unburned habitats, as well as the use of two major niche-based species abundance models (the geometric series and the MacArthur broken stick model), revealed a strong decrease in diversity and evenness in all investigated animal groups, including birds, for which previous research suggested minor effects. In particular, tenebrionids are proved to be particularly indicative of habitat transformations determined by fire, showing important changes in community structure, from that characteristic of woodlands to that of open habitats. Because most of the original vegetation of Mediterranean woodlands has been removed by the continued influence of man, mature pinewoods, even if artificial, represent an important surrogate habitat for most species of tenebrionids (and likely other animals of conservation concern, such as bird species), and their preservation from catastrophic fires is of paramount importance. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2010

Insect conservation has been traditionally based mainly on the identification of priority biotopes. One of the most commonly used criteria for biotope prioritisation is the occurrence of priority species, hence the need for measures of species vulnerability. In this paper a two-step protocol for biotope prioritisation is proposed. Firstly, insect species vulnerability is estimated from rarity measures that can be easily derived from basic data. Then, these values of vulnerability are used to rank biotopes. The method was applied here to the tenebrionid beetles of the Central Apennines, a montane area of high conservation concern for South Europe. Their use in this paper is an example of the use of data hidden in museum collections for analyses dealing with traditionally overlooked insect groups. Most of conservation decisions for Mediterranean mountains are biased towards certain vertebrates. Although current management practices in the preserves of the study area are generally consistent with the conservation of tenebrionids (especially woodland protection, which is essential for arboreal species), results provided in this study stress the importance of preserving also open biotopes, which are crucial for many taxa, including several endemic forms. Moreover, there is indication that preservation of such kind of biotopes would be important also for vertebrates. The approach for biotope prioritisation based on species rarity was here applied to a single animal taxon, but it can be easily extended to other insect groups, in order to obtain a more general view of the relative importance of different biotope types for Apennine conservation. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2010

Small-to-large (STL) and large-to-small (LTS) cumulative curves are used in conservation biology to investigate how species accumulate with area. A common result from application of STL and LTS curves to conservation biology is that a collection of small islands/fragments host more species than a few large islands/fragments with the same total area. However, when there is little overlap between the STL and LTS curves, this graphical method may be of little practical use because a very large number of small islands would need to be protected if one is basing a decision on the shape of the curves. An exercise with the tenebrionid beetles (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) of the Aegean Islands (Greece) shows there is no evidence of a clearly preferable design strategy with respect to single large or several small sites, indicating that no obvious recommendation about species conservation can be inferred from STL and LTS curves. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Borello M.,University of Milan Bicocca
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2012

The existence of an extremal code of length 72 is a long-standing open problem. Let C be a putative extremal code of length 72 and suppose that C has an automorphism g of order 6. We show that C, as an BBF2 〈g〉-module, is the direct sum of two modules; it is easy to determine one of them, while the other one has a very restrictive structure. We use this fact to do an exhaustive search and we do not find an extremal code. This proves that the automorphism group of an extremal code of length 72 does not contain elements of order 6. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Polillo R.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Web Engineering | Year: 2012

This paper discusses a methodological approach to define quality models (QM) for Web applications of any kind, including Web 2.0 sites. The approach stresses the practical use of a QM, not only in requirement definition and quality assessment, but also in quality improvement processes. The primary requirement for such QMs is organization mapping, which allows those who are in charge of quality management to easily identify the actors in the organization responsible for implementing or improving each specific quality characteristic. A core QM is proposed, collecting the main common characteristics of Web applications. This is not a complete QM, but requires adaptations to cope with specific application classes, organization and project needs and practical purposes. An example of such an adaptation is given for a simple class of Web sites. The core QM is compared with ISO/IEC 25010 QMs for software products and software-intensive computer systems. © Rinton Press.

Garavello M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Networks and Heterogeneous Media | Year: 2016

We consider the boundary value problem for the phase transition (PT) model, introduced in [4] and in [7]. By using the wave-front tracking technique, we prove existence of solutions when the initial and boundary conditions have finite total variation. © American Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Sisti M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2010

CUORE is the only fully approved 1-ton size neutrinoless double beta decay experiment to date, with the goal of scrutinazing the inverted hierachy region for the effective Majorana mass. CUORE, presently being built in Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory, is an array of 988 TeO2 cryogenic detectors containing 200kg of 130Te, the neutrinoless double beta decay candidate. CUORE is due to start data taking in 2012. The feasibility of the project has been proved by Cuoricino, the pilot experiment that took data until 2008, for about five years, with 62 TeO2 cryogenic detectors. Cuoricino will be superseded in 2010 by CUORE-0, the first CUORE tower to be installed in Cuoricino cryogenic facility, which will take data until CUORE start. In this paper the final results of Cuoricino are reported, and CUORE-0 and CUORE potential and state of the art are discussed. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Cangiani A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gardini F.,University of Pavia | Manzini G.,CNR Institute for Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies | Manzini G.,Istituto Universitario Of Studi Superiori Iuss
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2011

Optimal convergence rates for the mimetic finite difference method applied to eigenvalue problems in mixed form are proved. The analysis is based on a new a priori error bound for the source problem and relies on the existence of an appropriate elemental lifting of the mimetic discrete solution. Compared to the original convergence analysis of the method, the new a priori estimate does not require any extra regularity assumption on the right-hand side of the source problem. Numerical results confirming the optimal behavior of the method are presented. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2013

Quantum mechanics is necessary to compute galaxy structures at kpc scales and below. This is so because near the galaxy center, at scales below 10-100 pc, warm dark matter (WDM) quantum effects are important: observations show that the interparticle distance is of the order of, or smaller than the de Broglie wavelength for WDM. This explains why all classical (non-quantum) WDM N-body simulations fail to explain galactic cores and their sizes. We describe fermionic WDM galaxies in an analytic semiclassical framework based on the Thomas-Fermi approach, we resolve it numerically and find the main physical galaxy magnitudes: mass, halo radius, phase-space density, velocity dispersion, fully consistent with observations, including compact dwarf galaxies. Namely, fermionic WDM treated quantum mechanically, as it must be, reproduces the observed galaxy DM cores and their sizes. [In addition, as is known, WDM simulations produce the right DM structures in agreement with observations for scales ≳ kpc]. We show that compact dwarf galaxies are natural quantum macroscopic objects supported against gravity by the fermionic WDM quantum pressure (quantum degenerate fermions) with a minimal galaxy mass and minimal velocity dispersion. Interestingly enough, the minimal galaxy mass implies a minimal mass mmin for the WDM particle. The lightest known dwarf galaxy (Willman I) implies m>mmin=1.91 keV. These results and the observed halo radius and mass of the compact galaxies provide further indication that the WDM particle mass m is approximately around 2 keV. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Debernardi A.,CNR Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems | Fanciulli M.,CNR Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems | Fanciulli M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

By envelope-function approximation, we computed the effect of confinement in spherical P-doped Si nanocrystals in a uniform electric field without adjustable parameters. Based on nanocrystal size, we can distinguish several regimes. For a radius R that is larger than Rt (Rt ∼21 nm) the ground state is ionized at a critical electric field, Ecr, by tunneling from a 1s -like state, localized at the impurity, to a 2p -like state, localized to the well that is formed by the electric field and the potential barrier that is generated by the embedding matrix at the nanocrystal surface. For smaller nanocrystals, for which Rsp

Silvestri L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Agranovich V.M.,University of Texas at Dallas | Agranovich V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Following the experimental observation that in semiconductor nanocrystals a single high-energy photon can generate multiple electron-hole pairs, several mechanisms have been proposed to explain such process of carrier multiplication (CM). Among them, impact ionization is currently considered as the most prominent mechanism in bulk semiconductors as well as in quantum dots (QDs). However, impact ionization is a multistep process which produces a delayed appearance of multiple excitons, and it cannot explain the instantaneous CM observed in PbSe QDs. In this work we present numerical simulations of the instantaneous mechanism of direct biexciton photogeneration via virtual exciton and biexciton states in PbSe QDs, which takes place only during the pump pulse excitation. The theoretical model is based on a four-band envelope-function calculation of electron and hole states in spherical PbSe QDs and treats Coulomb interaction in the framework of perturbation theory up to the first order. CM efficiency has been numerically evaluated for three different QD samples of various sizes and band structures, considering photon energies up to four times the QD energy gap. The results suggest that the mechanism of direct photogeneration can be only partially responsible for the total experimentally observed CM, which is the sum of instantaneous and delayed contributions. We show that the efficiency of such process strongly depends on the incident photon frequency, being particularly large in spectral regions of weak excitonic absorption. Our simulations also indicate that the virtual exciton channel is much more effective than the virtual biexciton channel and that the presence of a mirror symmetry between valence and conduction bands has only minor impact on the CM efficiency. Even if the contributions of instantaneous and impact generation still have not been experimentally separated, our numerical results are compared with available experimental data, and a detailed discussion of their dependence on the model parameters is presented. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Goniakowski J.,CNRS Nanosciences Institute of Paris | Giordano L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Noguera C.,CNRS Nanosciences Institute of Paris
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

We present a theoretical density-functional theory study of the effect of deposition on a metal substrate (Mg, Pt, Ag, and Au) on the phase diagram of ultrathin MgO(111) polar films. By considering various crystallographic structures (rocksalt, zinc-blende, and graphiticlike), layer stackings and lattice registries at the interface, we identify the two principal mechanisms by which oxide films interact with the metal substrate. On one hand, metal provides the charges necessary for polarity compensation at the interface, enables the oxide ions at the interface to recover their usual valence, and induces a strong stabilization of polar films. On the other hand, due to interfacial bonding and band alignment (function of the metal electronegativity), a second type of electron exchange occurs at the interface, dominant in films which are either nonpolar or uncompensated polar. It induces a structural distortion of the oxide film in the interface region and yields a nonvanishing film polarization. The stabilizing effect of the metal substrate is considerably weaker in this case. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Sundin P.,University of Milan Bicocca | Wulff L.,Imperial College London
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: We calculate the two-loop correction to the dispersion relation for worldsheet modes of the BMN string in AdSn × Sn × T10−2n for n = 2, 3, 5. For the massive modes the result agrees with the exact dispersion relation derived from symmetry considerations with no correction to the interpolating function h. For the massless modes in AdS3 × S3 × T4 however our result does not match what one expects from the corresponding symmetry based analysis. We also derive the S-matrix for massless modes up to the one-loop order. The scattering phase is given by the massless limit of the Hernández-López phase. In addition we compute a certain massless S-matrix element at two loops and show that it vanishes suggesting that the two-loop phase in the massless sector is zero. © 2015, The Author(s).

Benini F.,University of Amsterdam | Benini F.,Imperial College London | Zaffaroni A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Zaffaroni A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We provide a general formula for the partition function of three-dimensional (formula presented) gauge theories placed on S2 ×S1 with a topological twist along S2, which can be interpreted as an index for chiral states of the theories immersed in background magnetic fields. The result is expressed as a sum over magnetic fluxes of the residues of a meromorphic form which is a function of the scalar zero-modes. The partition function depends on a collection of background magnetic fluxes and fugacities for the global symmetries. We illustrate our formula in many examples of 3d Yang-Mills-Chern-Simons theories with matter, including Aharony and Giveon-Kutasov dualities. Finally, our formula generalizes to Ω-backgrounds, as well as two-dimensional theories on S2 and four-dimensional theories on S2 × T2. In particular this provides an alternative way to compute genus-zero A-model topological amplitudes and Gromov-Witten invariants. © 2015, The Author(s).

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2011

Microalbuminuria is a major target of the therapeutic interventions in clinical trials aimed at assessing whether and to what extent antihypertensive treatment can favor the regression and/or slow down the progression of renal dysfunction in cardiometabolic disease. The Randomized Olmesartan And Diabetes MicroAlbuminuria Prevention (ROADMAP) trial has recently investigated the impact of an angiotensin II receptor blocker (olmesartan) on the new onset of microalbuminuria in type 2 diabetic patients, thus providing direct information on the ability of the drug to prevent the development of this marker of renal organ damage and, more generally, of cardiovascular risk. The results provide evidence that pharmacological blockade of angiotensin II receptors is highly effective in reducing the risk of developing microalbuminuria and that this effect can be achieved through blood-pressure-dependent and blood-pressure- independent effects. Despite the nephroprotective properties of olmesartan, the drug did not reduce the number of cardiovascular events and cardiovascular complications associated with the diabetic state. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

Bossard G.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katmadas S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We present a new solvable system, solving the equations of five-dimensional ungauged N = 1 supergravity coupled to vector multiplets, that allows for non-extremal solutions and reduces to a known system when restricted to the floating brane Ansatz. A two-centre globally hyperbolic smooth geometry is obtained as a solution to this system, describing a bubble linking a Gibbons-Hawking centre to a charged bolt. However this solution turns out to violate the BPS bound, and we show that its generalisation to an arbitrary number of Gibbons-Hawking centres never admits a spin structure. © 2014, The Author(s).

Organisms (like amoebae, bacteria, etc.), whose population in an unlimited nutritive medium would grow exponentially with time, behave often as aggressive strain with respect to higher organisms. Higher organisms provide a medium very different from the unlimited one considered above; among the various niches where the strain growth is possible, the circulatory system plays a special role. The topological structure of the circulatory system (two interlocked trees addressed to the delivery of O2 and nutritive substances to all tissues forming the higher organism and to the elimination of metabolic wastes) poses constraints to the growth of the strain population. The immune system is devoted to control and eventually to terminate the strain growing inside the organism. In many cases the immune system is sufficiently effective for that; there is a case, however, for which the immune system generally fails-cancer. In this work, after considering a few elementary properties of the growth of strains and higher organisms, I shall consider how the structure of the latter affects the population dynamics of cancer, and identify a possible reason why the immune system is so ineffective in recognizing cancer cells. Copyright © 2012 Author(s).

Skrypnyk T.,University of Milan Bicocca | Skrypnyk T.,Bogoliubov Institute for Theoretical Physics
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2012

We study integrable cases of the pairing BCS Hamiltonians containing several types of fermions and possessing non-uniform coupling constants. We prove that there exist three classes of such the integrable models associated with "Z 2-graded" non-skew-symmetric classical r-matrices with spectral parameters and Lie algebras gl(2m), sp(2m) and so(2m), respectively. The proposed models are higher rank generalizations of the so-called "p x+ip y" one-type fermion (m=1) BCS model. In the partial case of two types of fermions (m=2) the obtained models may be interpreted as N=Z, "p x+ip y" proton-neutron integrable models. In particular, in the case of sp(4) we obtain the "p x+ip y"-analogue of the famous integrable proton-neutron model of Richardson. We find the spectrum of the constructed Hamiltonians in terms of solutions of Bethe-type equations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Adami R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Negulescu C.,Aix - Marseille University
Communications in Computational Physics | Year: 2012

The present paper provides a numerical investigation of the decoherence effect induced on a quantum heavy particle by the scattering with a light one. The time dependent two-particle Schrödinger equation is solved by means of a time-splitting method. The damping undergone by the non-diagonal terms of the heavy particle density matrix is estimated numerically, as well as the error in the Joos-Zeh approximation formula. © 2012 Global-Science Press.

Biassoni M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Biassoni M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Martinez C.,Queens University
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2012

Presently, there are several experimental setups dedicated to rare event searches, such as dark matter interactions or double beta decay, in the building or commissioning phases. These experiments often use large mass detectors and have excellent performance in terms of energy resolution, low threshold and extremely low backgrounds. In this paper we show that these setups have the possibility to exploit coherent scattering on nuclei to detect neutrinos from galactic supernova explosions, thus enlarging the number of early detection "observatories" available and helping in the collection of valuable data to perform flavour-independent studies of neutrinos' emission spectra.© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Nucciotti A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements | Year: 2012

The international project "Microcalorimeter Arrays for a Rhenium Experiment" (MARE) aims at the direct and calorimetric measurement of the electron neutrino mass with sub-electronvolt sensitivity. Calorimetric neutrino mass experiments measure all the energy released in a beta decay except for the energy carried away by the neutrino, therefore removing the most severe systematic uncertainties which have plagued the traditional and, so far, more sensitive spectrometers. Calorimetric measurements are best realized exploiting the thermal detection technique. This approach uses thermal microcalorimeters whose absorbers contain a low transition energy Q beta decaying isotope. To date the two best options are 187Re and 163Ho. While the first beta decays, the latter decays via electron capture, but both have a Q value around 2.5 keV. The potential of using 187Re for a calorimetric neutrino mass experiment has been already demonstrated. On the contrary, no calorimetric spectrum of 163Ho has been so far measured with the precision required to set a useful limit on the neutrino mass. In this talk we present the status and the perspectives of the MARE project activities for the active isotope selection and the single channel development. We also discuss the neutrino mass statistical sensitivity achievable with both isotopes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Fiorini E.,European Center for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering | Tibaldi A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Global and Planetary Change | Year: 2012

We studied the Quaternary tectonics of the central Interandean Valley (IV, Ecuador), around the active Cotopaxi volcano, by field geological-structural survey, analysis of seismicity, precise levelling of river terraces and numerical modelling. North of the volcano, there are main Quaternary west-dipping reverse faults located along the western side of the valley. At the Cotopaxi foothills, we found NNE-SSW-striking, vertical, right-lateral oblique strike-slip faults and E-W-striking normal faults, which offset Pleistocene deposits. South of the volcano, there are several Quaternary folds that show minor normal faults at the hinge zone linked to local extension at the extrados. The core of the folds sometimes shows reverse faults. Most of the folds have flexure geometry whereas the Guambalo fold shows a double flexure resembling a huge box fold. By numerical modelling we computed the best solution that fits the observed geometry as fault-propagation folds. The fold system shows a double vergence linked to reverse faults dipping to the west along the western side of the IV and to the east along the eastern side. Computed stress tensors by striated fault inversion indicate a Quaternary E-W-trending horizontal greatest principal stress (σ1) and a vertical least principal stress (σ3) south of Cotopaxi, whereas at the volcano σ1 is ENE-WSW and σ3 is also horizontal. At the Yanayacu flexure we measured an increment of deformation along late Quaternary river deposits, suggesting a potentially very recent activity. These results are consistent with the distribution of crustal seismicity. We consider a larger Quaternary tectonic shortening south of the volcano than to the north of it, with the transcurrent faults acting as transfer structures. Magma emplacement at Cotopaxi in this compressional setting has been favoured by the horizontal σ3 linked to the transfer fault zone. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Bellotti E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Broggini C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Di Carlo G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Laubenstein M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Menegazzo R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

Starting from June 2011, the activity of a 137Cs source has been measured by means of a HPGe detector installed deep underground in the Gran Sasso Laboratory. Over 5100 hourly recorded energy spectra have been collected in 217 days. These data allowed the search for time variations of the decay constant with periods from a few hours to 1 year. No signal with amplitude larger than 9.6{dot operator}10 -5 at 95% C.L. has been detected. These limits are more than one order of magnitude lower than the values on the oscillation amplitude reported in literature. In particular, for 1 year period an oscillation amplitude larger than 8.5{dot operator}10 -5 has been excluded at 95% C.L., independently of the phase. The same data give a value of 29.96±0.08 years for the 137Cs half-life, in good agreement with the world mean value of 30.05±0.08 years. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Cavaletti G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System | Year: 2014

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) is one of the most frequent and severe long-term side effects of cancer chemotherapy. Preclinical and clinical studies have extensively investigated CIPN searching for effective strategies to limit its severity or to treat CIPN-related impairment, but the results have been disappointing. Among the reasons for this failure are methodological flaws in both preclinical and clinical investigations. Their successful resolution might provide a brighter perspective for future studies. Among the several neurotoxic chemotherapy drugs, oxaliplatin may offer a clear example of a methodological approach eventually leading to successful clinical trials. However, the same considerations apply to the other neurotoxic agents and, although frequently neglected, also to the new "targeted" agents. © 2014 Peripheral Nerve Society.

BACKGROUND:: EKG Tpeak–Tend (Tp–Te) interval, an index of transmural dispersion of myocardial repolarization, is gaining interest as possible cardiovascular prognostic variable. Evidence that this is the case in the general population is scanty, however. This was tested in the Pressioni Arteriose Monitorate E Loro Associazioni population. METHODS AND RESULTS:: EKG, echocardiographic, office, home and ambulatory (24-h) blood pressure (BP), metabolic and laboratory data were assessed. Cardiovascular and all-cause mortality were evaluated over a mean follow-up of 16 years. Repetition of all measurements after 10 years allowed to evaluate also the risk of developing office and out-of-office hypertension and echocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy. At baseline, Tp–Te adjusted for confounders (c) showed a significant correlation with office, home and 24-h blood pressure but not with left ventricular mass. The cTp–Te value predicted the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality before and after adjustment for demographic and clinical variables, the increase being 31 and 13% for 1-SD cTp–Te increase, respectively (P?

Bombelli M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2016

AIM:: Increased left atrium diameter (LAD) is associated with elevated risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We evaluated new-onset left atrium enlargement (LAE) and their correlates over a 10-year period in participants of the general population enrolled in the Pressioni Monitorate e Loro Associazioni study. METHODS:: The study included 1045 participants with normal LAD at baseline evaluation having a readable echocardiogram at the end of follow-up. Cut-points for abnormal LAD were derived from reference values recommended by American Society of Echocardiography. RESULTS:: Over a 10-year period, 123 participants (11.8%) progressed to LAE. The incidence of new-onset LAE increased significantly from the lowest to the highest tertile of baseline office, home and 24-h blood pressure (BP); BMI; fasting blood glucose and left ventricular mass index (LVMI). In multivariate analysis, baseline LAD [odds ratio (OR) 3.18, confidence interval (CI) 2.26–4.47, P?

Skrypnyk T.,University of Milan Bicocca | Skrypnyk T.,Bogoliubov Institute for Theoretical Physics
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2012

We study integrable cases of pairing BCS hamiltonians containing several types of fermions. We prove that there exist three classes of such integrable models associated with classical rational r-matrices and Lie algebras gl(2 m), sp(2 m) and so(2 m) correspondingly. We diagonalize the constructed hamiltonians by means of the algebraic Bethe ansatz. In the partial case of two types of fermions (m=2) the obtained models may be interpreted as N=Z proton-neutron integrable models. In particular, in the case of sp(4) we recover the famous integrable proton-neutron model of Richardson. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Destri C.,University of Milan Bicocca | De Vega H.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | De Vega H.J.,Paris Observatory | Sanchez N.G.,Paris Observatory
New Astronomy | Year: 2013

We derive the main physical galaxy properties: mass, halo radius, phase space density and velocity dispersion from a semiclassical gravitational approach in which fermionic WDM is treated quantum mechanically. They turn out to be fully compatible with observations. The Pauli Principle implies for the fermionic DM phase-space density Q(r→)=ρ(r→)/ σ3(r→) the quantum bound Q(r→)≤K m4/ℏ3, where m is the DM particle mass, σ(r→) is the DM velocity dispersion and K is a pure number of order one which we estimate. Cusped profiles from N-body galaxy simulations produce a divergent Q(r) at r=0 violating this quantum bound. The combination of this quantum bound with the behaviour of Q(r) from simulations, the virial theorem and galaxy observational data on Q implies lower bounds on the halo radius and a minimal distance rmin from the centre at which classical galaxy dynamics for DM fermions breaks down. For WDM, rmin turns to be in the parsec scale. For cold dark matter (CDM), rmin is between dozens of kilometers and a few meters, astronomically compatible with zero. For hot dark matter (HDM), rmin is from the kpc to the Mpc. In summary, this quantum bound rules out the presence of galaxy cusps for fermionic WDM, in agreement with astronomical observations, which show that the DM halos are cored. We show that compact dwarf galaxies are natural quantum macroscopic objects supported against gravity by the fermionic WDM quantum pressure (quantum degenerate fermions) with a minimal galaxy mass and minimal velocity dispersion. Quantum mechanical calculations which fulfil the Pauli Principle become necessary to compute galaxy structures at kpc scales and below. Classical N-body simulations are not valid at scales below rmin. We apply the Thomas-Fermi semiclassical approach to fermionic WDM galaxies, we resolve it numerically and find the physical galaxy magnitudes: mass, halo radius, phase-space density, velocity dispersion, fully consistent with observations especially for compact dwarf galaxies. Namely, fermionic WDM treated quantum mechanically, as it must be, reproduces the observed galaxy DM cores and their sizes. The lightest known dwarf galaxy (Willman I) implies a lower bound for the WDM particle mass m>0.96 keV. These results and the observed galaxies with halo radius ≥30 pc and halo mass ≥4×105Mȯ provide further indication that the WDM particle mass m is approximately in the range 1-2 keV. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Villa I.M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Villa I.M.,University of Bern
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2010

Submicroscopic microchemical disequilibrium in minerals is extremely widespread. Disequilibrium recrystallization is promoted by water in metamorphic terranes and near granites, contact aureoles, and faults. Recrystallization is energetically less costly at almost any temperature than diffusive re-equilibration. Radiogenic isotopes (except 4He) never diffusively re-equilibrate faster than major elements forming the mineral structure. Isotopic inheritance tied to relicts was demonstrated for zircon, monazite, amphibole, K-feldspar, biotite and muscovite. The mechanism for resetting the isotope record in nature depends more on the availability of recrystallization-enhancing water than on reaching a preset temperature. Laboratory diffusion experiments on hydrous minerals were plagued, to a variable but always large extent, by dissolution-reprecipitation. Mineral geochronometers should be viewed as 'geohygrometers' that essentially date the fluid circulation episodes. Thanks to submicroscopic petrology, isotopic disequilibria can be put into context with petrogenetic disequilibria. Analytical advances allow the successful dating of each mineral generation. This has opened up a much richer wealth of data on the P-T-A-X-d history of rocks, which in the long run will also improve our ability to develop credible numeric models. © The Geological Society of London 2010.

Sesana A.,Max Planck Institute For Gravitationsphysik | Roedig C.,Max Planck Institute For Gravitationsphysik | Reynolds M.T.,University of Michigan | Dotti M.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

In the decade of the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy, the concept of multimessenger astronomy, combining gravitational wave signals to conventional electromagnetic observation, has attracted the attention of the astrophysical community. So far, most of the effort has been focused on ground- and space-based laser interferometer sources, with little attention devoted to the ongoing and upcoming pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). We argue in this paper that PTA sources, being very massive (>10 8M ⊙) cosmologically nearby (z < 1) black hole binaries (MBHBs), are particularly appealing multimessenger carriers. According to current models for massive black hole formation and evolution, the planned Square Kilometre Array will observe thousands of such massive systems, being able to individually resolve and locate in the sky several of them (maybe up to a hundred). MBHBs form in galaxy mergers, which are usually accompanied by strong inflows of gas in the centre of the merger remnant. By employing a standard model for the evolution of MBHBs in circumbinary discs, with the aid of dedicated numerical simulations, we characterize the gas-binary interplay, identifying possible electromagnetic signatures of the PTA sources. We concentrate our investigation on two particularly promising scenarios in the high-energy domain, namely the detection of X-ray periodic variability and double broad Kα iron lines. Up to several hundreds of periodic X-ray sources with a flux >10 -13ergs -1cm -2 will be in the reach of upcoming X-ray observatories; in the most optimistic case, a few of them may be already being observed by the MAXI detector placed on the International Space Station. Double relativistic Kα lines may be observable in a handful of low-redshift (z < 0.3) sources by proposed deep X-ray probes, such as Athena. The exact figures depend on the details of the adopted MBHB population and on the properties of the circumbinary discs, but the existence of a sizeable population of sources suitable to multimessenger astronomy is a robust prediction of our investigation. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

Gualandris A.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Dotti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Sesana A.,Albert Einstein Institute
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2012

We study the evolution of the orientation of the orbital plane of massive black hole binaries (BHBs) in rotating stellar systems in which the total angular momentum of the stellar cusp is misaligned with respect to that of the binary. We compare results from direct summation N-body simulations with predictions from a simple theoretical model. We find that the same encounters between cusp stars and the BHBs that are responsible for the hardening and eccentricity evolution of the binary lead to a reorientation of the binary orbital plane. In particular, binaries whose angular momentum is initially misaligned with respect to that of the stellar cusp tend to realign their orbital planes with the angular momentum of the cusp on a time-scale of a few hardening times. This is due to angular momentum exchange between stars and the BHBs during close encounters, and may have important implications for the relative orientation of host galaxies and radio jets. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Vergani P.,University of Milan Bicocca
Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2012

Purpose of review: To review the most used tests for diagnosis of pulmonary hypoplasia, and their pertinence in different pathological conditions. Recent findings: The two-dimensional biometric parameters are not accurate enough to be applied in clinical practice, except for the lung-to-head ratio (LHR): the observed/expected LHR remains the best predictor of pulmonary hypoplasia in fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The introduction of three-dimensional ultrasound tecniques has allowed to directly measure lung volume. Three-dimensional-derived nomograms seem reliable for the prediction of both normal and pathological pulmonary volumes. MRI is attracting increasing attention. The studies recently published on this method are highly heterogeneous: universally accepted standardized values for the prediction of pulmonary hypoplasia are, hence, not available. Finally, some authors proposed Doppler ultrasound velocimetry to detect changes in pulmonary vascularization that correlate to pulmonary hypoplasia. However, a well-defined test to predict pulmonary hypoplasia has not emerged so far. Summary: The prediction of the lethal type of pulmonary hypoplasia is pivotal to improve counseling and neonatal assistance. There is not a single test that can, at least for now, predict postnatal lung function. For different underlying pathologies, different combinations of clinical, ultrasound, and MRI parameters seem to better assess the risk of pulmonary hypoplasia. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:: Previous meta-analyses of our group have investigated the cardiovascular effects of more vs. less intense blood pressure (BP) treatment and the BP levels to be achieved by treatment. A few additional trials have been completed recently, particularly the large SPRINT study. Updating of the previous meta-analyses has been done with the objective of further clarifying the practical question of BP targets of antihypertensive treatment. METHODS:: Among randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) of BP lowering treatment between 1966 and 2015, 16 (52?235 patients) compared more vs. less intense treatment and fulfilled other preset criteria, and in 34 (138?127 patients) SBP in the active (vs. placebo) or the more (vs. less) intense treatment was below (vs., respectively, above) three predetermined cutoffs. For their meta-analyses risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals, standardized to −10/−5?mmHg SBP/DBP reduction, and absolute risk reductions of seven fatal and nonfatal outcomes were calculated. RESULTS:: More intense BP lowering significantly reduced risk of stroke [RR 0.71 (0.60–0.84)], coronary events [0.80 (0.68–0.95)], major cardiovascular events [0.75 (0.68–0.85)] and cardiovascular mortality [0.79 (0.63–0.97)], but not heart failure and all-cause death. When the 16 RCTs were stratified according to cardiovascular death risk, relative risk reduction did not differ between strata, but absolute risk reduction increased with cardiovascular risk, though the residual risk also increased. Stratification of the 34 RCTs according to the three different SBP cutoffs (150, 140 and 130?mmHg) showed that a SBP/DBP difference of −10/−5?mmHg across each cutoff significantly reduced risk of all outcomes to the same proportion (relative risk reduction), but absolute risk reduction of most outcomes had a significant trend to decrease at lower cutoffs. CONCLUSION:: Updating of previous meta-analyses indicates that more vs. less intense BP lowering can reduce not only stroke and coronary events, but also cardiovascular mortality. Including data from recent RCTs also shows that all major outcomes can be reduced by lowering SBP a few mmHg below vs. above 130?mmHg, but absolute risk reduction becomes smaller, suggesting patients at lower initial SBP were at a lower level of cardiovascular risk. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Rosa D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rosa D.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We derive the conditions for unbroken supersymmetry for a Mink2, (2, 0) vacuum, arising from Type II supergravity on a compact eight-dimensional manifold M8. When specialized to internal manifolds enjoying SU(4) × SU(4) structure the resulting system is elegantly rewritten in terms of generalized complex geometry. This particular class of vacua violates the correspondence between supersymmetry conditions and calibrations conditions of D branes (supersymmetry-calibrations correspondence). Our analysis includes and extends previous results about the failure of the supersymmetry-calibrations correspondence, and confirms the existence of a precise relation between such a failure and a subset of the supersymmetry conditions. © 2014 The Author(s).

Hristov K.,University of Milan Bicocca | Hristov K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We relate across dimensions BPS attractors of black strings and black holes of various topology in gauged supergravities with nontrivial scalar potential. The attractors are of the form AdS2,3 × Σ2,3 in 4, 5, and 6 dimensions, and can be generalized to some higher dimensional analogs. Even though the attractor geometries admit standard Kaluza-Klein and Scherk-Schwarz reductions, their asymptotic AdS spaces in general do not. The resulting lower dimensional objects are black holes with runaway asymptotics in supergravity theories with no maximally symmetric vacua. Such classes of solutions are already known to exist in literature, and results here suggest an interpretation in terms of their higher-dimensional origin that often has a full string theory embedding. In a particular relevant example, the relation between 5d Benini-Bobev black strings [1, 2] and a class of 4d Cacciatori-Klemm black holes [3] is worked out in full detail, providing a type IIB and dual field theory description of the latter solutions. As a consistency check, the Cardy formula for the field theory is shown to match the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy for horizon topology of any genus. © 2014, The Author(s).

Khanji B.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements | Year: 2014

Searches for lepton flavour and lepton number violating decays at LHCb are presented in various τ and D decays. Lepton flavour violating decays are forbidden in the Standard Model, they are considered as a probe for New Physics. Those searches are performed using pp collision data recorded by LHCb experiment in 2011. In addition searches for Majorana neutrinos in B+ decays with like-sign μ pair in the final states are summarized. No signal was observed at 95% confidence level for all these decays. Upper limits are set on the branching fractions of corresponding decay modes. © 2014.

Gaiotto D.,Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

M-theory and string theory predict the existence of many six-dimensional SCFTs. In particular, type IIA brane constructions involving NS5-, D6- and D8-branes conjecturally give rise to a very large class of (Formula Presented.) CFTs in six dimensions. We point out that these theories sit at the end of RG flows which start from six-dimensional theories which admit an M-theory construction as a M5 stack transverse to (Formula Presented). The flows are triggered by Higgs branch expectation values and correspond to D6’s opening up into transverse D8-branes via a Nahm pole. We find a precise correspondence between these CFT’s and the AdS7 vacua found in a recent classification in type II theories. Such vacua involve massive IIA regions, and the internal manifold is topologically S3. They are characterized by fluxes for the NS three-form and RR two-form, which can be thought of as the near-horizon version of the NS5’s and D6’s in the brane picture; the D8’s, on the other hand, are still present in the AdS7 solution, in the form of an arbitrary number of concentric shells wrapping round S2’s. © 2014, The Author(s).

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Fattorini S.,University of The Azores
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2014

Placed in the centre of the Mediterranean Basin, Italy is a complex biogeographical crossroad between North Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and North Africa. The distribution of 280 species and subspecies of tenebrionid beetles in 17 Italian natural regions was used to study the influence of climatic, spatial and historical (palaeogeographical and palaeoecological) factors on current patterns of species richness, endemism and turnover (i.e. inter-regional biogeographical differences). In accordance with the general latitudinal pattern of biodiversity in Europe, both tenebrionid richness and endemism increase southwards, in response to variations in rainfall and temperatures, as expected for thermo-xerophilic animals. Turnover was correlated with both inter-regional climatic dissimilarities and geographical distances. The importance of spatial relationships independent from climate, but consistent with palaeogeographical and palaeoecological history, was also confirmed by inter-regional relationships based on all species and endemics only. Biogeographical similarities between Italian regions and adjacent European and North African source areas showed distinct geographical patterns which reflect various dispersal trajectories. During the Pleistocene glacials, cold adapted species coming from northern areas via the Alps used the Apennines as a filter to disperse into central and southern Italy, thereafter remaining confined to high altitude areas after deglaciation. Xero-thermophilic species coming from North Africa or east Mediterranean countries colonised southern Italian regions probably in more ancient times. Islands and southern areas acted as centres of both speciation and post-glacial recolonisation. © 2013 The Royal Entomological Society.

Terranova F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Tino G.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2014

The persistent aμ≡(g-2)/2 anomaly in the muon sector could be due to new physics visible in the electron sector through a sub-ppb (parts per 109) measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron ae. Driven by recent results on the electron mass [S. Sturm, Nature 506, 467 (2014)NATUAS0028-083610.1038/nature13026], we reconsider the sources of uncertainties that limit our knowledge of ae including current advances in atom interferometry. We demonstrate that it is possible to attain the level of precision needed to test aμ in the naive scaling hypothesis on a time scale similar to next-generation g-2 muon experiments at Fermilab and JPARC. In order to achieve this level of precision, knowledge of the quotient h/M, i.e., the ratio between the Planck constant and the mass of the atom employed in the interferometer, will play a crucial role. We identify the most favorable isotopes to achieve an overall relative precision below 10-10. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katmadas S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Abstract: We consider the flow equations for 1/4-BPS asymptotically AdS4 static black holes in Fayet-Iliopoulos gauged supergravity, using very special geometry identities to obtain a simplified form in the most general case. Under mild assumptions on the form of the solution, we analyse the flow equations and find an explicit solution for arbitrary gauging and charge vectors. Comparing with the corresponding attractor equations, we find that the solution is given in terms of exactly the same vector of parameters, implying that all regular attractors can be extended to full black hole solutions. We present explicit examples of black hole solutions with all complex scalars and allowed charges turned on, within the STU model and its truncations. © 2014, The Author(s).

Katmadas S.,University of Milan Bicocca | Minasian R.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We consider the Calabi-Yau reduction of the Type IIA eight derivative oneloop stringy corrections focusing on the couplings of the four dimensional gravity multiplet with vector multiplets and a tensor multiplet containing the NS two-form. We obtain a variety of higher derivative invariants generalising the one-loop topological string coupling, F1, controlled by the lowest order Kähler potential and two new non-topological quantities built out of the Calabi-Yau Riemann curvature. © 2014 The Authors.

Terranova F.,University of Milan Bicocca
Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams | Year: 2014

A single laser pulse with spot size smaller than half its wavelength (w0<λ/2) can provide a net energy gain to ultrarelativistic particles. In this paper, we discuss the properties of an optical cell consisting of N subcycle pulses that propagate in the direction perpendicular to the electron motion. We show that the energy gain produced by the cell is proportional to N and it is sizable even for O(1TW) pulses. © 2014 Published by the American Physical Society.

Giusti L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Giusti L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pepe M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We propose a new strategy for determining the equation of state of a relativistic thermal quantum field theory by considering it in a moving reference system. In this frame, an observer can measure the entropy density of the system directly from its average total momentum. In the Euclidean path integral formalism, this amounts to computing the expectation value of the off-diagonal components T0k of the energy-momentum tensor in the presence of shifted boundary conditions. The entropy is, thus, easily measured from the expectation value of a local observable computed at the target temperature T only. At large T, the temperature itself is the only scale which drives the systematic errors, and the lattice spacing can be tuned to perform a reliable continuum limit extrapolation while keeping finite-size effects under control. We test this strategy for the four-dimensional SU(3) Yang-Mills theory. We present precise results for the entropy density and its step-scaling function in the temperature range 0.9Tc-20Tc. At each temperature, we consider four lattice spacings in order to extrapolate the results to the continuum limit. As a by-product, we also determine the ultraviolet finite renormalization constant of T0k by imposing suitable Ward identities. These findings establish this strategy as a solid, simple, and efficient method for an accurate determination of the equation of state of a relativistic thermal field theory over several orders of magnitude in T. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Ambrosini R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Saino N.,University of Milan
Evolutionary Ecology | Year: 2010

Parental effects comprise a wide range of mechanisms that individuals may adopt to enhance viability and adjust the phenotype of their offspring according to the conditions that the offspring will experience after birth. For example, individual choice of breeding habitat may mediate such parental effects via an effect of prenatal breeding conditions independently or in combination with offspring post-natal environment. However, ecological factors relevant to adaptive breeding habitat choice may vary at different spatial scales, which have been rarely investigated simultaneously. In the first part of the present study we use hierarchical linear models to disentangle micro- and macro-environmental variation in abundance and breeding performance of a small passerine bird, the barn swallow Hirundo rustica. We show that environmental conditions at the scale of nesting microhabitat are more influential than macro-environmental conditions at the scale of foraging range. We then experimentally investigate the effect of variation in micro-environmental conditions on growth and immunity of chicks by partially cross-fostering nestlings immediately after hatching between different nesting micro-habitats. Our results disclosed significant effects of environmental conditions where eggs were laid and incubated but not of those where nestlings grew-up on some components of nestling phenotype important for fitness. These results suggest that adults may enhance offspring quality by adjusting prenatal parental effects mediated by e. g., egg quality according to micro-habitat conditions where parents are breeding. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
American Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2016

BACKGROUND An activation of sympathetic neural influences to the heart and peripheral circulation has been shown to represent a hallmark of the essential hypertensive state, adrenergic neural factors participating together with other variables at the development and progression of the high blood pressure state as well as of the hypertension-related target organ damage. This represents the rationale for employing in hypertension treatment drugs which combine the blood pressure-lowering properties with the modulatory effects on the sympathetic neural function. METHODS AND RESULTS Several studies published during the past 40 years have investigated the impact of antihypertensive drugs on the sympathetic target as assessed by indirect and direct approaches. In the present paper, the effects of different monotherapies or combination drug treatment used in hypertension to lower elevated blood pressure values on various adrenergic markers will be examined. This will be followed by a discussion of the (i) hemodynamic and nonhemodynamic consequences of employing antihypertensive drugs with sympathomodulatory or sympathoexcitatory properties and (ii) mechanisms potentially responsible for the adrenergic responses to a given antihypertensive drug. The final part of this review will address the questions still open related to the impact of antihypertensive drug treatment on sympathetic function. Two questions in particular will be examined, i.e., whether antihypertensive drugs with sympathomodulatory properties may be capable to fully restore a "normal" adrenergic drive and how far sympathetic activity should be reduced in hypertensive patients. CONCLUSION Future investigations aimed at answering these questions will be needed in order to improve cardiovascular protection in treated hypertensive patients. © 2016 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

Grassi G.,University of Milan Bicocca
American Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2010

Background: Several hemodynamic variables, such as blood pressure, vascular resistance, cardiac output, and heart rate, are regulated, among others, by sympathetic cardiovascular influences. This has led many years ago investigators to advance the hypothesis that alterations in the sympathetic modulation of the cardiovascular system may occur in hypertension and related disease.MethodsThe role of the sympathetic nervous system as promoter and amplifier of the hypertensive state has been examined in a consistent number of studies carried out by making use of sophisticated and sensitive approaches to evaluate adrenergic function, such as the norepinephrine spillover technique and the recording of efferent postganglionic muscle sympathetic-nerve traffic.ResultsThe results of the above-mentioned investigations support the concept that adrenergic activation characterizes essential hypertension, correlating with the clinical severity of the disease. Furthermore, sympathetic cardiovascular influences may favor the hypertensive disease progression, by concurring with other hemodynamic and nonhemodynamic factors at the development of target organ damage. Finally, an adrenergic overdrive of pronounced degree also characterizes hypertension-related cardiovascular and metabolic disease. In several of these clinical conditions, the adrenergic overdrive plays a role in the disease's physiopathology and prognosis.ConclusionsThe data reviewed in this article provide evidence that sympathetic activation represents a hallmark of the essential hypertensive state. They further show that adrenergic neural factors may participate at the development and progression of the hypertensive state and its complications. This represents the rationale for the use of antihypertensive and, in more in general, cardiovascular drugs capable to exert sympatho-inhibitory effects. © 2010 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.

Fattorini S.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2010

The herpetofauna of the Tuscan Islands (Central Italy) is well known and represents an ideal subject to understand the role of current and historical factors responsible for biogeographical patterns in a complex archipelago. Multidimensional Scaling, cluster analyses, species-area relationships, Mantel tests and co-occurrence statistics were used to investigate the influence of current geography and Pleistocene connections with the mainland on the structure of insular communities. Although reptile colonization likely occurred via land bridges for islands that were connected to the mainland in the Pleistocene, a long time relaxation (species extinction by island habitat loss after disconnection and new colonization by over sea dispersal or human-assisted introductions) equilibrated the faunas according to island area. Biogeographical similarities among islands increased for islands located farther from Corsica and Tuscany, thus suggesting that, for remote islands, interisland faunal exchanges occurred more frequently than mainland-island colonization. Also, a possible influence of Pleistocene geography emerged more clearly when populations suspected to be introduced by man were removed. Co-occurrence analyses indicated a nonrandom distribution influenced by island area and distance, suggesting that the time elapsed since post-Pleistocene disconnection may have reshaped biogeographical similarities by an increase in competition resulting from reduction in island areas and introduction of certain species. From a conservation viewpoint, the land-bridge distribution of organisms with poor mobility should be carefully considered in conservation biogeography, because depletion of island populations cannot be balanced by new immigrations from the mainland, whereas introduction of nonnative species may have a negative impact on the original fauna. © 2010 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Vitobello D.,Cancer Center | Siesto G.,Cancer Center | Pirovano C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Ieda N.,Cancer Center
European Journal of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2013

Aims: To evaluate the feasibility and safety of robotic radical hysterectomy (RRH) with pelvic lymphadenectomy for locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). Methods: Starting from 04/2009, consecutive patients with LACC were submitted to robotic surgical staging after NACT. Surgical outcomes were compared to those achieved by women undergoing robotic surgery for an early stage disease during the same temporal interval. Results: Overall 25 (Group 1) and 21 (Group 2) patients had an early stage and a LACC, respectively. Among women with LACC, 18 achieved best tumor responses to NACT and therefore they were addressed to RRH. Outcomes resulted comparable between Groups in terms of operative time, blood loss, hospitalization and complications. No differences were found in terms of nodal yield, parametrial and vaginal cuff length. Conclusions: RRH is feasible and safe also in patients previously submitted to NACT for LACC. Larger series with longer follow-up are mandatory to establish survival outcomes. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between blood pressure (BP) variability and left ventricular (LV) mechanical function in untreated normal-weight, overweight, and obese hypertensive patients. METHODS:: This cross-sectional study included 144 untreated hypertensive study participants who underwent 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring and complete two (2DE) and three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE). All the patients were divided into three groups according to their BMI: normal-weight patients (BMI < 25?kg/m), overweight patients (25?≤?BMI < 30?kg/m), and obese patients (BMI?≥?30?kg/m). RESULTS:: Daytime, night-time, and 24-h BP variability progressively increased from normal-weight, throughout overweight, to obese hypertensive study participants. 2DE and 3DE LV longitudinal, circumferential and radial strains, as well as 3DE area strain, were significantly lower in obese hypertensive patients than in normal-weight and overweight study participants. 3DE LV volumes indexed for BSA did not differ significantly among the three observed groups. Night-time and 24?h BP variability indices, more than daytime BP variability parameters, were associated with 2DE and 3DE longitudinal and circumferential strains independent of BMI, LV mass index, and average 24-h SBP and DBP values. CONCLUSION:: BP variability and LV deformation are significantly affected by obesity in untreated hypertensive patients. BP variability is associated with 2DE and 3DE LV mechanics independently of main clinical and echocardiographic characteristics. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

De Martini D.,University of Milan Bicocca
Pharmaceutical Statistics | Year: 2012

At least two adequate and well-controlled clinical studies are usually required to support effectiveness of a certain treatment. In some circumstances, however, a single study providing strong results may be sufficient. Some statistical stability criteria for assessing whether a single study provides very persuasive results are known. A new criterion is introduced, and it is based on the conservative estimation of the reproducibility probability in addition to the possibility of performing statistical tests by referring directly to the reproducibility probability estimate. These stability criteria are compared numerically and conceptually. This work aims to help both regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies to decide if the results of a single study may be sufficient to establish effectiveness. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Matteuzzi C.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2014

The LHCb experiment has been taking data at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN since the end of 2009. One of its key detector components is the Ring-Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) system. It provides charged particle identification over a wide momentum range, from 2 to 100 GeV/c. © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Cattoretti G.,A.O. San Gerardo | Cattoretti G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2013

The distribution of the product of the proto-oncogene MYC in lymphoid tissue has not been established in three decades, due to a combination of factors including low abundance, short half-life, and antibody sensitivity and specificity. We sought to validate antibodies in order to define the expression and distribution of MYC in mature normal lymphoid cells by multiparametric immunophenotyping. Having validated two antibodies for flow cytometry and for immunohistochemistry, we analysed normal tonsil tissue. MYC is expressed predominantly in B cells, some of which are interfollicular large, activated, and cycling CD30+, IRF4+, AID± blasts. Follicular mantle, isotype-switched memory B cells and FcRH4/IRTA1+ B cells express MYC in a wide range of levels and are small non-proliferating CDKN1B/p27-positive or -negative resting B lymphocytes. Germinal centre founder cells, CD30+ BCL6± AID± germinal centre blasts, and a population of GC cells in the apical light zone express MYC. MYC is expressed in all phases of the cell cycle in activated and mature B cells, but rarely in other lymphoid types and only partially fulfils the predictions derived from extractive and ex vivo experiments of the past 30 years. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Alioli S.,German Electron Synchrotron | Hamilton K.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Nason P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Oleari C.,University of Milan Bicocca | Re E.,Durham University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We present an implementation of the next-to-leading order dijet production process in hadronic collisions in the framework of POWHEG, which is a method to implement NLO calculations within a shower Monte Carlo context. In constructing the simulation, we have made use of the POWHEG BOX toolkit, which makes light of many of the most technical steps. The majority of this article is concerned with the study of the predictions of the Monte Carlo simulation. In so doing, we validate our program for use in experimental analyses, elaborating on some of the more subtle features which arise from the interplay of the NLO and resummed components of the calculation. We conclude our presentation by comparing predictions from the simulation against a number of Tevatron and LHC jet-production results.

Bonetti M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bonetti M.,University of Insubria | Barausse E.,CNRS Paris Institute of Astrophysics
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We study the post-Newtonian expansion of a class of Lorentz-violating gravity theories that reduce to khronometric theory (i.e. the infrared limit of Hořava gravity) in high-acceleration regimes and reproduce the phenomenology of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) in the low-acceleration, nonrelativistic limit. Like in khronometric theory, Lorentz symmetry is violated in these theories by introducing a dynamical scalar field (the "khronon") whose gradient is enforced to be timelike. As a result, hypersurfaces of constant khronon define a preferred foliation of the spacetime, and the khronon can be thought of as a physical absolute time. The MOND phenomenology arises as a result of the presence, in the action, of terms depending on the acceleration of the congruence orthogonal to the preferred foliation. We find that if the theory is forced to reduce exactly to general relativity (rather than to khronometric theory) in the high-acceleration regime, the post-Newtonian expansion breaks down at low accelerations, and the theory becomes strongly coupled. Nevertheless, we identify a sizeable region of the parameter space where the post-Newtonian expansion remains perturbative for all accelerations, and the theory passes both Solar System and pulsar gravity tests, besides producing a MOND phenomenology for the rotation curves of galaxies. We illustrate this explicitly with a toy model of a system containing only baryonic matter but no dark matter. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Del Zotto M.,Jefferson Lab | Heckman J.J.,Jefferson Lab | Heckman J.J.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Tomasiello A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Vafa C.,Jefferson Lab
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

A single M5-brane probing G, an ADE-type singularity, leads to a system which has G × G global symmetry and can be viewed as “bifundamental” (G, G) matter. For the AN series, this leads to the usual notion of bifundamental matter. For the other cases it corresponds to a strongly interacting (1, 0) superconformal system in six dimensions. Similarly, an ADE singularity intersecting the Hořava-Witten wall leads to a superconformal matter system with E8 × G global symmetry. Using the F-theory realization of these theories, we elucidate the Coulomb/tensor branch of (G, G′) conformal matter. This leads to the notion of fractionalization of an M5-brane on an ADE singularity as well as fractionalization of the intersection point of the ADE singularity with the Hořava-Witten wall. Partial Higgsing of these theories leads to new 6d SCFTs in the infrared, which we also characterize. This generalizes the class of (1, 0) theories which can be perturbatively realized by suspended branes in IIA string theory. By reducing on a circle, we arrive at novel duals for 5d affine quiver theories. Introducing many M5-branes leads to large N gravity duals. © 2015, The Author(s).

Biassoni M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2015

Many present-generation experiments for the search for neutrino-less double beta decay are taking data or are in a final construction stage. In order to understand what the future of double beta decay search is going to be, a tool for a complete and objective comparison of the different experimental techniques is mandatory. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Crepaldi D.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rastle K.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Davis C.J.,Royal Holloway, University of London
Memory and Cognition | Year: 2010

Previous research strongly suggests that morphologically complex words are recognized in terms of their constituent morphemes. A question thus arises as to how the recognition system codes for morpheme position within words, given that it needs to distinguish morphological anagrams like overhang and hangover. The present study focused specifically on whether the recognition of suffixes occurs in a position-specific fashion. Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that morphologically complex nonwords (gasful) are rejected more slowly than orthographic controls (gasfil) but that the same interference effect is not present when the morphemic constituents are reversed (fulgas vs. filgas). Experiment 3 went further in demonstrating that reversing the morphemes within words (e.g., nesskind) does not yield morpheme interference effects against orthographic controls (e.g., nusskind). These results strongly suggest that suffix identification is position specific, which imposes important constraints on the further development of models of morphological processing. © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Cremonesi O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pavan M.,University of Milan Bicocca
Advances in High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

In the past ten years, neutrino oscillation experiments have provided the incontrovertible evidence that neutrinos mix and have finite masses. These results represent the strongest demonstration that the electroweak Standard Model is incomplete and that new Physics beyond it must exist. In this scenario, a unique role is played by the Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay searches which can probe lepton number conservation and investigate the Dirac/Majorana nature of the neutrinos and their absolute mass scale (hierarchy problem) with unprecedented sensitivity. Today Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay faces a new era where large-scale experiments with a sensitivity approaching the so-called degenerate-hierarchy region are nearly ready to start and where the challenge for the next future is the construction of detectors characterized by a tonne-scale size and an incredibly low background. A number of new proposed projects took up this challenge. These are based either on large expansions of the present experiments or on new ideas to improve the technical performance and/or reduce the background contributions. In this paper, a review of the most relevant ongoing experiments is given. The most relevant parameters contributing to the experimental sensitivity are discussed and a critical comparison of the future projects is proposed. © 2014 Oliviero Cremonesi and Maura Pavan.

Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2015

A number of studies in 2014 have enhanced our knowledge of the pathophysiology of hypertension, including the effects of a low-salt diet, hypertension in resource-poor countries, hypoxia-induced blood pressure elevation, antihypertensive therapies, the therapeutic role of renal denervation, and the effect of cardiovascular risk on adverse outcomes in patients with hypertension. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Scrosati C.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute | Scamoni F.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute | Zambon G.,University of Milan Bicocca
Applied Acoustics | Year: 2015

The uncertainty of field measurements of a façade was evaluated by a Round Robin Test (RRT) conducted in a full-scale experimental building at the Construction Technologies Institute of the National Research Council of Italy (ITC-CNR). Each of the 9 teams involved in the RRT replicated the tests 5 times, for a total of 45 measurements, while reverberation time was repeated 110 times. Both for façade sound insulation and reverberation time the main variations in the one-third octave bands were found in the low frequencies range. The study was also focused on the evaluation of single number quantities (SNQs) and their uncertainties. Single number quantities were evaluated in both narrow (from 100 to 3150 Hz) and extended (from 50 to 5000 Hz) range. Concerning the SNQs and their uncertainties, no significant differences were observed whether the low frequencies were included or not, unlike the case of airborne sound insulation (investigated in the first part of this study). The uncertainty results were compared with the relevant standards and with literature results. Based on these comparisons, it was highlighted that the standard deviation of reproducibility of façade elements is not adequately reflected in the ISO 12999-1 and further research is needed to specify the in situ standard deviation of reproducibility for façade elements. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Fareghbal R.,Shahid Beheshti University | Fareghbal R.,Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences | Hosseini S.M.,Shahid Beheshti University | Hosseini S.M.,University of Milan Bicocca